Oklahoma Bill Would Ban A.P. U.S. History
Some lawmakers in Oklahoma want to make Advanced Placement U.S. History history.
What’s their beef? The course, which was redesigned by the College Board and implemented in high school classrooms last year, isn’t quite pro-America enough.
“In essence, we have a new emphasis on what is bad about America,” said state representative Dan Fisher, the measure’s chief sponsor.
“(The new framework) trades an emphasis on America’s founding principles of Constitutional government in favor of robust analyses of gender and racial oppression and class ethnicity and the lives of marginalized people, where the emphasis on instruction is of America as a nation of oppressors and exploiters,” Fisher lamented at a legislative committee hearing Tuesday.
Not only does HB 1380 — which sailed through a committee hearing this week — bar state funds from being used on AP History, the legislation specifies what should be taught in the classroom by specifically identifying dozens of “documents, writings, speeches, proclamations and recordings related to the history, heritage and foundation of the United States” in the 10-page bill.
As Judd Legum notes, the Oklahoma initiative is just the latest example of what has been a somewhat odd reaction from the right to new standards for the Advanced Placement American History curriculum proposed by the College Board:
Opposition to the AP U.S. History test “can be traced back to retired high-school history teacher Larry S. Krieger.” On a conference call marshaling opposition to the test, Krieger said it offered “a consistently negative view of American history that highlights oppressors and exploiters.” Krieger teamed up with Jane Robbins, an anti-Common Core activists. (Some, including Oklahoma lawmakers, have conflated the Advanced Placement test with Common Core.) They have their own website: http://opposenewapstandards.us.
Krieger, Robbins and others were successful in convincing the Republican National Committee to pass a resolution blasting the Advanced Placement U.S. History course, saying it “reflected a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.”
In response, the College Board — a non-profit which creates the AP tests — said that the opposition was based on “significant misunderstandings.” Dan Coleman, the President of The College Board emphasized that the tests are actually written “by college professors and K-12 teachers throughout this country.” He also, in an effort to allay concerns, released a sample test.
Perhaps what they want is to have the AP curriculum designed by Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.