August 27, 2014
Inside this issue
  State Senators Gresham and Bell Call for hearing on APUSH  
  I want to say a really BIG thank you to Senators Gresham and Bell.  As they reviewed the APUSH material they obviously became as alarmed about the content of the AP US History Framework as many of us were.  We look forward to the hearings and to exposing the truth about the agenda driven APUSH content. 

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham and Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell ask Tennessee Board of Education to Review Effects of New Requirements for Advanced Placement History Exams

For Immediate Release 
Contact: Darlene Schlicher
August 26, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  --  Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell (R-Riceville) have called on the Tennessee State Board of Education to conduct a review of the new framework and materials used in all Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) courses taught in Tennessee classrooms.  The request was made by the lawmakers in a letter to Board Chairman Fielding Rolston and comes after widespread criticism that the new College Board framework for APUSH reflects revisionist views of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of U.S. history, while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.

Advanced Placement courses are college-level classes that students can take while still in high school.  Most colleges and universities in the United States grant credit and placement for qualifying scores.  The exams are produced by the College Board, a private company, which also is responsible for the SAT college admission test.   

"There are many concerns with the new APUSH framework, not the least of which is that it pushes a revisionist interpretation of historical facts," said Chairman Gresham.  "The items listed as required knowledge have some inclusions which are agenda-driven, while leaving out basic facts that are very important to our nation's history.  We need a full review of the framework by our Board as to its effects on Tennessee students and our state standards.  We have also asked the Board to provide a forum in which parents and other concerned citizens can let their voices be heard on the matter."

Tennessee law specifies students in the state must be taught foundational documents in U.S. and Tennessee history.  It also provides that instructional materials, specifically in U.S. History, comply with this state mandate.   

The APUSH framework includes little or no discussion of the founding fathers and the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and other critical topics which had previously been included in the course.  It presents a negative interpretation regarding the motivations and actions of 17th - 19th century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the development of and victory in the Cold War.  

In addition, the APUSH framework excludes discussion of the U.S. military, battles, commanders, and heroes, as well as mentioning many other individuals and events that shaped the nation's history like American icons Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, and Dr. Martin Luther King.  The requirements do not include the study of the Holocaust.

"The APUSH framework appears to differ greatly from Tennessee's U.S. History standards," added Chairman Bell.  "This interferes with our state law and standards for U.S. History if our teachers focus on preparing their pupils for the AP examination, which is a very important test for college-bound students.  We have worked very hard over the past several years to ensure that our students are learning history based on facts, rather than a politically-biased point of view."  

Approximately 500,000 students across the nation take Advanced Placement courses in U.S. History each year.  Tennessee has worked diligently over the past several years to push students to take Advanced Placement exams as part of the effort to increase the number of citizens with post-secondary degrees.  

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  RNC passes resolution on APUSH at August Meeting  
  This deals with the rewrite of the AP U.S. History framework.  This was sponsored by Tamara Scott, National Committeewoman from Iowa, and was written with the help of Jane Robbins from American Principles Project.  It had six co-sponsors and it passed the committee unanimously.

    Resolution Demanding Implementation Delay, and Rewrite, of AP U.S. History Framework

    WHEREAS, almost 500,000 U. S. students take the College Board's Advanced Placement U. S. History (APUSH) course each year; and

    WHEREAS, the APUSH course has traditionally been designed to present a balanced view of American history and to prepare students for college-level history courses; and

    WHEREAS, the College Board (a private organization unaccountable to the public) has recently released a new Framework for the APUSH course; and

    WHEREAS, the new APUSH Framework reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation's history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects; and

    WHEREAS, the Framework includes little or no discussion of the Founding Fathers, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the religious influences on our nation's history, and many other critical topics that have always been part of the APUSH course; and

    WHEREAS, the Framework excludes discussion of the U. S. military (no battles, commanders, or heroes) and omits many other individuals and events that greatly shaped our nation's history (for example, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Tuskegee Airmen, the Holocaust); and

    WHEREAS, the Framework presents a biased and inaccurate view of many important events in American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the development of and victory in the Cold War; and

    WHEREAS, the Framework describes its detailed requirements as "required knowledge" for APUSH students, and the College Board admits that the APUSH examination will not test information outside this "required knowledge"; and

    WHEREAS, because the Framework differs radically from almost all state history standards, so that APUSH teachers will have to ignore their state standards to prepare students for the AP examination, the Framework will essentially usurp almost all state history standards for the best and brightest history students; and

    WHEREAS, the College Board is not making its sample examination available for public review, thus maintaining secrecy about what U. S. students are actually being tested on;

    RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee strongly recommends that the College Board delay the implementation of the new APUSH Framework for at least a year, and that during that time a committee be convened to draft an APUSH Framework that is consistent both with the APUSH course's traditional mission, with state history standards, and with the desires of U. S. parents and other citizens for their students to learn the true history of their country; and be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee requests that state legislatures and the U. S. Congress investigate this matter; and be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee request that Congress withhold any federal funding to the College Board (a private non-governmental organization) until the APUSH course and examination have been rewritten in a transparent manner to accurately reflect U. S. history without a political bias and to respect the sovereignty of state standards, and until sample examinations are made available to educators, state and local officials, and the public, as has long been the established practice; and be it

    FINALLY RESOLVED, that upon the approval of this resolution the Republican National Committee shall promptly deliver a copy of this resolution to every Republican member of Congress, all Republican candidates for Congress, and to each Republican state and territorial party office.

    Respectfully submitted by:

    Tamara R. Scott

    National Committeewoman for Iowa
 

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  29 Biased Statements In the AP U.S. History Redesign  
 

The "Open Letter from the Authors of the AP United States History Curriculum Framework [2]" raises a number of important issues. Here is our response to the key points raised in this "Open Letter," followed by a list of 29 biased and ill-considered statements from the Framework, and a list of 17 omitted seminal documents about U.S. history.

1. Who wrote the College Board's AP U.S. History (APUSH) Framework?

The nine members of the College Board's Advanced Placement United States History Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee identify themselves as the authors of the APUSH Curriculum Framework. However, page v of the Framework lists 19 college professors and high school teachers under the heading "Acknowledgments." There is a significant professional difference between the terms "Acknowledgments" and "Authors." If the nine signers of the "Open Letter" are indeed authors who wrote the APUSH Framework, the College Board has a responsibility to revise its misleading attribution on page v. In addition, since one other professor who was listed under "Acknowledgments" admitted he didn't know who actually wrote the Framework, there remains significant confusion about who really created the working drafts that the signers of the Open Letter used.

2. For whom was the APUSH Curriculum Framework written?

The Open Letter authors state that the Framework "was written by and for other AP teachers." This statement ignores that the Framework prescribes the essential content that will be taught to about 500,000 high school sophomores and juniors. These students are the sons and daughters of parents who have a direct stake in what is being taught to their children.

The "by the profession, for the profession" approach endorsed by the Open Letter authors also excludes civic leaders who are not specialists but are deeply concerned about how U.S. history is taught to American high school students. Including people from outside the academic world would have added to the Framework's credibility and might have saved the document from its egregious problems.

3. Why does the Framework omit key American leaders and seminal documents?

The Open Letter acknowledges that the Framework omits Benjamin Franklin, Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King Jr, and many other key figures in American history. They accuse critics of "misunderstanding our document." Unfortunately, we have not misunderstood anything; the document is clear. The Framework devotes pages 28 to 80 to a detailed outline of the "required knowledge" students are expected to learn in their AP U.S. History course. The Framework unequivocally states, "Beginning with the May 2015 AP U.S. History Exams, no AP U.S. History Exam questions will require students to know historical content that falls outside this concept outline" (emphasis added).

The Framework is a lengthy document that provides more than enough space to include key figures and seminal documents from American history. Neither the College Board nor the Open Letter authors have explained why the Framework does have space to include Chief Little Turtle, the Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Panthers, but does not have space to include Dwight Eisenhower, Jonas Salk, and Martin Luther King Jr. The omissions have been widely criticized. But once again, College Board officials and the Open Letter authors have adamantly refused to revise the Framework or delay its implementation

 

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  Historic fail? Greatest Americans missing from proposed curriculum  
 
The College Board's Advanced Placement curriculum on U.S. history must include America's greatest icons, like Ben Franklin and Martin Luther king, say critics

New history curriculum standards proposed for top high school students leave out such American icons as Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King, Jr., paint colonists as bigots and gloss over the Greatest Generation's fight to save the world from Nazi Germany, according to conservative education activists who want the framework delayed - and perhaps scrapped altogether.

An open letter circulated by conservative education activists is calling on The College Board to delay implementing new Advanced Placement U.S. History guidelines, saying a "rising tide of opposition" believes the curriculum will take the nation's classrooms in a bad direction.

The Aug. 4 letter, which is addressed to David Coleman, president/CEO of the New York-based nonprofit, claims the new 98-page curriculum is a "dramatic departure" from the five-page outline previously used by teachers and students and offers a consistently negative view of Americans as oppressors and exploiters.

"The framework ignores the rise of democratic institutions such as the House of Burgesses and New England town meetings," the letter reads. "It also omits the colonists' growing commitment to religious freedom and the emergence of a pluralistic society that lacked an entrenched aristocracy."

What's missing from the curriculum, according to a former public school teacher and author of two Advanced Placement prep guides, is mention of John Winthrop and his "city upon a hill" sermon as one of the key early instances of American exceptionalism and references to Roger Williams and the birth of religious toleration.

 

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New War Over High School U.S. History

Americans are only just now waking up to a quiet but devastatingly effective effort to replace the teaching of traditional American history in our high schools with a new, centrally-controlled, and sharply left-leaning curriculum.

The College Board, the company that issues the SAT and the various Advanced Placement (AP) exams, has created an elaborate new framework for the AP U.S. History Exam that will effectively force nearly all American high schools, public and private, to transform the way they teach U.S. History.

The traditional emphasis on America's founders and the principles of constitutional government will soon be jettisoned in favor of a left-leaning emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity, etc.

There are serious questions about the legality of the new AP U.S. History Exam, insofar as it may conflict with existing history standards in a number of states. These questions, however, as well as public debate over this massive and tremendously controversial change, have been largely suppressed by the stealthy way in which the College Board has rolled out the new test.

The new AP U.S. History Exam has been issued under the authority of David Coleman, president of the College Board and, not coincidentally, architect of the Common Core. We are witnessing a coordinated, two-pronged effort to effectively federalize all of American K-12 education, while shifting its content sharply to the left.

While the College Board has publicly released a lengthy "framework" for the new AP U.S. History Exam, that framework contains only a few sample questions. Sources tell me, however, that a complete sample exam has be released, although only to certified AP U.S. History teachers. Those teachers have been warned, under penalty of law and the stripping of their AP teaching privileges, not to disclose the content of the new sample AP U.S. History Exam to anyone.

This is clearly an effort to silence public debate over these heavily politicized and illegitimately nationalized standards. If the complete sample test was available, the political nature of the new test would become evident. Public scrutiny of the sample test would also expose potential conflicts between the new exam and existing state standards. This is why the College Board has kept the test secret and threatened officially certified AP U.S. History teachers with severe penalties for revealing the test.

     
College Board Erases the Founding Fathers. Protect the Spirit of '76.

The classic novel Brave New World describes a future in which people have lost all of their liberty and in which they have become drugged robots obedient to a central authority. It also details how this control was first established. First, the rulers had to erase all history and all the people's memory of a time before their bondage.

Today, the history of George Washington's leadership has been erased in the new Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History test/curriculum, taking effect in the fall of 2014. The College Board, the organization that publishes the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and AP tests, has also decided to completely blot out Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, among others. In this newly revised course, Gen. Washington merits one fleeting mention in one sentence, in reference to his Farewell Address.

American history without George Washington? That is like the Beatles without Paul McCartney or the Super Bowl without Vince Lombardi. A former AP U.S. history teacher, Larry Krieger, provides insightful analysis of these sweeping changes here. The rebuttal of Trevor Parker, senior vice president for AP programs at the College Board, can be found here, and Mr. Krieger's defense here. As an aside, it should be noted that the College Board's new president, David Coleman, is also one of the major architects of Common Core.