Printed in the August 2014 Issue of The Northeast Texan:
Coming to Texas public schools this fall, is a new AP honors curriculum, AP U.S. History (APUSH), which undermines genuine United States history and its founding principles. The Common Core-themed curriculum from the College Board Framework will replace the traditional five-page topical outline with a 98-page document that dictates how teachers should cover required topics.
Many of the founding fathers in American History such as, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison are left out entirely. President George Washington is mentioned one time…briefly. The Declaration of Independence is only mentioned in one clause of one sentence.
What the curriculum does foster is malcontent against our own country, asserting among other things, that the British-American colonies were characterized by the development of “a rigid racial hierarchy” (page 27) that was in turn derived from “a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority” (page 29) – and teaches that American history in general was shaped by those beliefs. There is much emphasis on mistreatment of slaves and native people, while there is no praise for the founding principles within the Constitution and other founding documents that paved the way for freedom for all, with consent from the governed, development of a free-market with opportunity for all, and religious liberty.
However, the worst aspect of this curriculum may be the data collection base that stores student’s test scores and identifiable information, so that it may one day be used for or against him/her. Several of the test questions don’t require an absolute right or wrong-type of answer. Rather, the student may be given examples of what “may have been” in history; and asked to choose the answer that they think is most likely to be true. In regard to the Holocaust, one student’s multiple choice style answer may indicate that they know of no evidence that such mass extermination ever took place.
Alice Linahan, Vice President of Women on the Wall explained, “Because the APUSH exam is taught using the Common Core subjective philosophy versus the Texas End of Course (EOC) knowledge fact-based philosophy, what a child scores on each of these exams can be used for or against him at a later time in the workforce.”
In the 83rd Texas Legislature, Texas Rep. Mike Villarreal (D – Dist. 123) authored and Rep. Dan Branch (R – Dist. 108) Co-authored HB 2103, which sets up three education research centers that in the name of “Education Research” have access to your child’s or grandchild’s private information without the consent of a parent. The stated purpose is the sharing of educational data between state agencies.
Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) member Ken Mercer was quoted by Women on the Wall, a watchdog organization that has blown the whistle on CSCOPE and Common Core-style curriculum in Texas. He said, “How bad is the new AP U.S. History Framework? Here are a few key items verified with Larry Krieger (retired teacher and author recognized by the CB [College Board] as one of the best AP teachers in 2004 and 2005) and Jane Robbins (Senior Fellow at the American Principles Project):
In the period of the American Revolution up to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, almost every Founding Father is omitted – no Jefferson, Adams, Madison, or Franklin. The Framework excludes Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, Saratoga, and Yorktown. The commanders and heroes of these pivotal battles are all omitted.
The lessons on the Civil War omit the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Gettysburg Address, and the assassination of President Lincoln. The Framework once again omits crucial battles, key commanders, and the valor of common soldiers.
The lessons on World War II omit “The Greatest Generation,” Truman, Hitler, D-Day, Midway, the Battle of the Bulge, and every military commander including Dwight Eisenhower. Inexplicably, Nazi atrocities against Jews and other groups are not required. The CB concludes its treatment of WWII with this blunt statement: “The decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values.”
The lessons on the Civil Rights Movement do not mention America’s first African-American President. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, the Navajo Code Talkers, Tuskegee Airmen, 442nd Infantry Regiment, and Barbara Jordan’s famous speech on the Constitution are all omitted.
A word search of the entire 98-page document will not find one military commander or one Medal of Honor recipient. Our best and brightest students will thus learn nothing of the heroism and sacrifices of Americans in uniform.
The CB instead presents an overwhelmingly negative viewpoint of U.S. history that will please America-haters such as former Illinois professor Bill Ayers.
This unelected body is rewriting United States history and promoting among our students a disdain for American principles and a lack of knowledge of major American achievements.
History is a dramatic story, which, if taught well, allows students to study both the good and bad of America. The new APUSH Framework purposely stresses the negative while dismissing America’s positive contributions.
What can parents do? APUSH is already here. It appears the only thing left to do is to demand school districts not teach this false history in its AP U.S. History classes. Otherwise, parents may have to flex the only other muscle they have… removal of their students from those classes. This in turn, should motivate the College Board to reassess curriculum requirements and allow teachers to once again teach true and balanced American History.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer ~