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Lawmakers Battle Over AP U.S. History Course

Lawmakers Battle Over AP U.S. History Course

Lawmakers are continuing to have heated debates over the Advanced Placement U.S. History course, and some states have gone as far as replacing or reviewing the course.

Nearly half a million high school students took the test last year, and the nonprofit College Board "unveiled a redesign of the course that's meant to prepare AP teachers and their students for the exam," according to an article on NPR.org.

"And some state lawmakers are calling the new framework 'distorted' and 'revisionist,'" the article said. "An Oklahoma House committee voted earlier this month to review the guidelines and potentially cut funding for AP U.S. history classes there. Other anti-AP proposals have come up in Texas, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina and Tennessee."

What are their complaints? The article said that "the new course and exam description is extensive — more than 120 pages — but some conservative lawmakers argue it's not extensive enough."

"In the new framework, little if anything is even emphasized about the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution or our war of independence," said State Rep. Dan Fisher, who introduced the bill in Oklahoma. "The founders are hardly even mentioned."

According to the article, "critics are quick to point out that the new AP guidelines also leave out Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr."

"Georgia state Sen. William Ligon, an outspoken critic of the AP redesign, much preferred the old framework, which he says emphasized American exceptionalism. To him, the new course 'looks at America through the lens of race, gender and class identity' and doesn't pay enough attention to 'the things that unite us and set us apart from much of the rest of the world,'" the article said.

According to the article, "the College Board has issued a full-throated rebuttal, making clear this framework was written by teachers and historians."

"It acknowledges that many famous documents and people, including Parks and King, go unmentioned," the article said. "The explanation: These are guidelines, not a comprehensive curriculum. In fact, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Emancipation Proclamation weren't mentioned in the old AP framework."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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