The national controversy over history courses continues. While students in Denver protest changes to their history curriculum by a conservative-led school board, conservative activists are voicing concern about the new Advanced Placement US History (APUSH) course, calling it ‘anti-American.’
The Associated Press reports that the College Board official who leads the AP program told education officers this week that critics have misinterpreted the “framework’s purpose.” AP official Trevor Parker says the outline is meant to give teachers a better idea of concepts that students will study in college-level courses.
In an article from The Federalist, Larry Krieger and Jane Robbins give five reasons why the College Board’s US History talking points are flawed, briefly outlined below.
- Krieger and Robbins argue that those opposed to APUSH are not a “small fringe group.” They list several historians, professors, history department heads, and writers on history who have critiqued the APUSH framework for being biased, dishonest, and designed to place a higher emphasis on negative events while ignoring or downplaying positive ones.
- Scholars who were asked to read the framework have suggested that the framework has a clear left-leaning bias.
- The framework appears to ignore state standards for US history education.
- The facts in the framework do not appear to correlate to the questions on the sample exam.
- Krieger and Robbins assert that, as a result of the new framework, APUSH “is being held hostage by a small group of revisionist college professors.”
Krieger and Robbins are not alone. Frederick M. Hess and Chester E. Finn Jr. voiced similar concerns in an article for National Review. Hess and Finn add “AP courses need to resemble those that the students take in college—which means their content is driven primarily by what college professors teach in their own lecture halls. Which, in turn, means that every pedagogical and political fad to be found in today’s postmodern campuses will creep into courses taught to high schoolers.” They also conclude their article by calling other critics to “combat ideological hegemony in higher education” instead of lashing out at the College Board.