It’s back-to-school time in many parts of the country, and that can only mean one thing: more evidence rearing its ugly head of yet another tool to dumb-down America’s students. This time, the students who are the best and brightest are being targeted for mediocrity- those who take AP (Advanced Placement) courses.
Each semester, these hard-working high school students fill their schedules with AP courses in hopes they will be able to get a head start towards their college education by getting some credit before they ever set foot on a college campus. What will be different this year, beginning this month, is the framework for the AP U.S. History course, known as APUSH.
Imagine sitting in a class on American history and not being exposed to Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. Or getting merely a brief mention of George Washington via his Farewell Speech. Or learning about the Civil Rights movement without the names Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks. Talk about twisted history!
You don’t have to imagine any longer, because you can see for yourself on the website of the College Board what the new framework for APUSH looks like. In a nationwide conference call earlier this week, opponents to this new framework for teaching (or not teaching) American history warned parents if they don’t push back on this and refrain from enrolling their students in APUSH, it will most certainly have a negative ripple effect. Unlike the Common Core State Standards that have been delayed in many states as parents continue to learn more about it, APUSH will impact private and homeschooling students as well.***
The AP programs are run by the College Board, an organization of unelected people with no accountability to “We the People”. Concerned Women for America has been following this closely and was among those involved in this week’s conference call. Their website has resources available for parents who may be hearing of this for the first time.
Larry Kreiger has taught AP classes for more than 35 years and his specialty is U.S. History. He was a member of the panel during the conference call and didn’t have much to say that was positive about the new framework. He said the old one had a 5-page Topic Outline that provided a chronological sequence of key topics that were closely aligned with the standards of most states.
The new APUSH framework is 98 pages, and according to Kreiger, its pretty alarming in what they leave out—and what they put in: “With 98 pages to work with, there is more than enough space to include Ben Franklin, James Madison, and Dr. Martin Luther King, among many others who are not mentioned. The College Board has failed to explain why the Framework omits these key historic figures while it does have space to include Chief Little Turtle, the Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Panthers.”
Because the new APUSH framework doesn’t mesh with the standards most states have set, teachers will be forced to choose between teaching to yet another high-stakes test, or teaching their state’s standards alongside it, potentially jeopardizing their students’ scores on the new APUSH exam.
Teachers always seem to be forced into teaching to some test or other, and not just in American history. How will students become good citizens without knowing important foundations of the nation, or having in-depth discussions of the Declaration of Independence or The Constitution? If all they’ll get is a hardy helping of how bad America is while they’re still in high school, they’ll definitely be prepared for more of the same once they get to college.
What they won’t be are thinkers who’ve been presented with many different aspects of the rich American story—its heroes and villains; its successes and failures. That’s how you get Americans to hate America.
If you haven’t yet seen Dinesh D’Souza’s movie America that I reviewed here last month, go see it. It’s very much related to what’s happening with these new U.S. History standards. The new APUSH is just another example of how the far-left is stripping young people of their heritage.
***Note: Although some private schools and even homeschooling parents are aligning their curriculum with Common Core, it’s not required- – yet—so its effect on them is still up in the air.