Robin Smith / Aug. 12, 2015

Battling the Educrats for History

The College Board made some cosmetic changes to its AP History material.

The College Board owns and publishes both the “framework” for the nation’s Advanced Placement U.S. History course and its exam to receive college credit after mastery is demonstrated by high school students. The Board has been busy “revising” its initial “standards” and curriculum after a prairie fire of criticism was lit by the flame of facts from teachers of American history. The revelation of the deliberate extraction of American Exceptionalism from our nation’s history as taught in public school and funded by our tax dollars caused controversy and should be further exposed.

An entity previously known for its dedication to high standards in educational curriculum and testing, the College Board not only owns the Advanced Placement for U.S. History (APUSH) tests but also the SAT exams, which are used by millions to measure “scholastic aptitude” as a readiness for moving to higher education. However, the College Board has been proven to be just another institution complicit in rewriting America’s history, and that impacts more than college credit. These institutions of the Left coexist and coordinate to poison the minds of our students against their own nation’s incredible founding to become committed citizens of a global and social collectivism.

Interestingly, the content of both the APUSH and the SAT exams is written by a separate “nonprofit” from Princeton, the Educational Testing Service. The more educrats, the better, right?

First released in October 2012, the initial rendition of the revised curriculum and testing of APUSH was set to begin in 2016. As information about the drastic changes were exposed, however, the College Board was not so much moved by public comment or parental concern but by the existential threat arising from legislative aims to cease funding without revisions — read: corrections.

A recent Newsweek article was meant to assure all concerned that no malevolent intent existed. But this little statement sums up the “impetus” of APUSH’s erasure of any reference to the greatness of America and its heroes: The educrats sought to “redirect the course away from rote memorization of facts and toward historical thinking skills.”

Translation: Who needs the facts of history to frame the portrait of a nation’s greatness? The unwashed masses must be taught to synthesize their own thinking about centuries of the American experience based on their own local relations and opinions at the ripe age of 16-17 years of age, so Academia seems to support.

Larry Krieger, a retired history teacher who now tutors and writes preparatory books for APUSH testing, saw through the new focus on cultural and racial divisions that have been scattered across our nation’s history. He quickly uncovered the previous APUSH lesson structure that honored an American identity etched in fierce independence of those seeking religious liberty, then governmental restraint that moved into the pioneer movement of Manifest Destiny was abandoned. Krieger, along with countless others got busy in exposing yet another act of destruction toward America.

Whether it was the lesson that many Founding Fathers were “bigots” with their power “built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority” or the praise of mixed racial unions found in the Spanish colonies contrasted to the “rigid racial hierarchy” found among the Puritans who settled in the New England settlements of the English colonies, the noticeable absence of contrasting forms of governance of more democratic pursuits versus the Spanish authoritarianism had been discarded as so “yesterday.”

A letter signed by more than 120 scholars and released on June 2, 2015, ripped into the College Board’s adoption of social activism over scholarly academics: “The new version of the test will effectively marginalize important ways of teaching about the American past, and force American high schools to teach U.S. history from a perspective that self-consciously seeks to de-center American history and subordinate it to a global and heavily social-scientific perspective.”

States like Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma, North and South Carolina, Colorado and Texas either passed resolutions or made public statements from their state capitols that will end funding of APUSH in their public schools without the removal of overtly anti-American and highly socialized content.

The College Board and its defenders of the second edition of its revisions of history attest to the 142-page “framework” as providing “key concepts” and not a “list of groups, individuals, dates or historical details” — formerly known collectively as history. Instead, these supernovas of the educational elite offer “thematic learning objectives” that do “not promote any particular political position or interpretation of history.”

In an almost mocking attempt to placate critics, APUSH now includes an addition of “American and National Identity” that employs the phrase “American Exceptionalism.” Perhaps it’s a small victory that such a nod was given at all, but it’s not enough.

John Winthrop declared to the passengers traveling aboard the Arbella that left England for the New World in 1630, “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.” Winthrop, soon afterward elected as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, is renowned for this speech that has echoed throughout history, but he is still absent from the revised APUSH “framework.”

We must mount up as guardians of our American Exceptionalism and contact our state legislative leaders demanding the defunding of the College Board’s testing. This display of arrogance and a direct assault on America should be a call to action for all who are keepers of our American story. The treasure of the truth of America’s courageous founding led by men and women of shared sacrifice who were called and committed to the ideal of America should increase in value as time passes, not be treated like some dime-store trinket.

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