A new outline, or “framework,” issued by the College Board for advanced placement classes in US history has the Republican National Committee up in arms, calling to defund the College Board in a resolution introduced at a recent meeting in Chicago. 500,000 AP history students are scheduled to take the course load this fall, which is a travesty to the RNC, who has called the content for the class “biased and inaccurate.” The RNC is asking for Congress to defund the College Board entirely, until the course material can be “rewritten…to accurately reflect U.S. history without a political bias.”

According to the LA Times, Republicans have their own ideal teacher, an expert in “American exceptionalism” who believes that historical events should be viewed through an unequivocally patriotic lens,  without those pesky q lessons from history that tend paved the way for social progress in America.:

“The attack on the AP curriculum is being led by a retired history teacher from New Jersey named Larry Krieger, whose classroom approach seems to have been based on filling his students’ heads with facts and names and dates, underscoring what he calls America’s ‘mission to spread democracy’ and with due attention to qualities such as ‘the valor or heroism of American soldiers’ in World War II.

Krieger soon linked up with the Christian conservative group Concerned Women for America, and a campaign was born. On August 4 he participated in a conference call with other conservative activists sponsored by CWA (a recording can be found here), from which the above quotes were taken. He mentioned his rising anger at the framework’s failing to mention any of his personal historical heroes, such as the Puritan leader John Winthrop, whose ‘city on a hill’ sermon ‘sets the theme of American exceptionalism,’ Krieger said.”

The RNC says that the new curriculum “reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects.” Krieger said.

Newsweek explains that “Krieger was horrified last September when he read the new framework for APUSH, a course taught to around 500,000 high school juniors every year. It didn’t mention Winthrop, or Thomas Jefferson, or even Martin Luther King, Jr.”

The College Board says the RNC is basically ignoring the fact that AP History is an advanced curriculum, with students who have a firm grasp on history, historical events and key players in America’s early days. Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr. , and John Winthrop are typically taught throughout the years in elementary, middle, and high school history classes. It’s presumed if you’re taking an AP (Advanced Placement) class that transfers to college credit, you’re familiar with the roles of our founding fathers and the pivotal role of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.

To quell suspicions and assuage fears, the College Board even released a sample AP U.S. history test to demonstrate the inclusiveness of its approach.

One question asked is “Conditions like those shown in the image contributed most directly to which of the following?” The correct answer is, “An increase in Progressive reform activity.”

In the Newsweek article, Kreiger comments, “That’s historically true but note that progressives are going to be the heroes in this narrative.”

Ah ha.

So that’s what’s upset Republicans enough to try to destabilize an entity responsible for teaching and possibly rewarding free college credit to 1,682,967 public school students as throughout the US.

Sounds like the typical Republican agenda to me.

  • Golden Heart

    History should be more than just memorization but I can see where it easily becomes a biased subject.

  • ResCogitans

    Facts have a liberal bias. Kreiger would rather teach the myth of “American exceptionalism” rather than the fact of American imperialism. Screw Kreiger, I say. He sounds like a Glenn Beck clone.