Just the unvarnished facts needed in College Board U.S. History
by Don McKee
August 14, 2014 04:00 AM | 2218 views | 6 6 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
Troubling questions are being raised about the College Board’s new course “framework” for Advanced Placement U.S. History, although Cobb and Marietta school officials say their districts will make sure students get a factual history of America, regardless of problems with the new framework.

And there are problems with this latest revision of the AP history course created by the private College Board which rewrites “frameworks” if not revising history as well — as some critics contend. The board also creates the tests for AP students and provides SAT exams, extremely important to college-bound students.

The new AP U.S. history framework, APUSH for short, “reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing the positive aspects,” said the Republican National Committee in a resolution calling for the College Board to hold up rollout of the new course for at least a year and for state legislatures to investigate the matter. There are academics who also fault the new framework.

The Cobb School District’s chief academic officer, Mary Elizabeth Davis, acknowledged that the new APUSH “shifts away from sort of the American facts and a very memorization heavy AP course, and they have created a framework that is much more about being historically analytical and analyzing historical events in the U.S.” But she said Cobb students “are also simultaneously responsible for learning the regular U.S. history course standards that are approved by the state.”

Cobb school board Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci is among those challenging the new course. She cited the College Board’s description: “The AP exam will measure student proficiency in the historical thinking skills as well as the thematic learning objectives.”

Angelucci, like others questioning the new framework, said it “offers a very negative view of American history, which emphasizes every problem and failing of our ancestors, while ignoring or minimizing their achievements. … No mention of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and John Adams and almost none of the Declaration of Independence?” Nor are Frederick Douglass and the Monroe Doctrine included, among other omissions.

Angelucci responded by email to a follow-up question about what happens next, saying the Cobb superintendent and staff “have assured the board that the standards are a base, students will be taught above the base standards.” She added: “While this is somewhat comforting, the truth of the matter is that if Cobb wants its students to do well on the APUSH exam, teachers will have to teach to the test and ignore their own state standards.” Indeed.

Angelucci said: “What is very disconcerting is the level of omission and departure from actual historical events that is already accepted, and equally disturbing is how indoctrination will be the order of the day.”

Instead of “historical thinking skills” and historical analysis, students first should learn the factual history of America, including the good, the bad and the indifferent. Not selective facts that focus on the negative or the positive — just the unvarnished facts. That’s what our students need.

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August 14, 2014
It is becoming crystal clear that the education "system" has evolved from teaching - reading, writing, and arithmetic - into a "system" of indoctrination and re-education. We have to ask ourselves - why is there such an emphasis on this revising American history? The answer is obvious - the academic intellectuals have it as a "Cause" to transform America into a socialist/communist society. By re-educating our children and young people they intend to wipe away our culture, principles, and beliefs. All of those things that have kept us together through wars, recessions, depressions, good times and bad times these academic intellectuals intend to erase from the impressionable minds of our children. In our fight for freedom and democracy the education "system" is now our number one enemy. There was a time when we could trust and respect educators, now they are becoming public enemy number one.
August 14, 2014

The College Board, the nonprofit that administers Advanced Placement (AP) tests as well as the SAT, designed the new APUSH framework to foster critical thinking skills. The lengthy document outlines how the end-of-year AP exam, which typically earns well-performing high school students college credit, will test skills such as “periodization,” “contextualization,” and “comparison,” and themes, such as “identity,” “work, exchange, and technology,” and “America in the world.”

In teaching these new themes and skills, the framework is not meant to exclude any figures or events but give teachers the “flexibility across nine different periods of U.S. history to teach topics of their choice in depth.”

On its website, the College Board stresses that it revised the APUSH framework based on input from thousands of teachers. “The teachers and professors participating in the AP U.S. History program expressed strong concerns that the course required a breathless race through American history, preventing teachers and students from examining topics of local interest in depth, and sacrificing opportunities for students to engage in writing and research,” the site reads.

not a good idea
August 14, 2014
I think this matter deserves more than a passing glance. One of the things that is wrong in our school system is the almost dismissive way our history is taught. This is our culture, one of the things that holds us together as a country and explains why this country, above all others, is exceptional. (despite what libs think)
August 14, 2014
Angelucci needs to do her homework. A simple website search for the US AP History course framework shows inclusion of The Monroe Doctrine and at least three references to Frederick Douglas.

This "Chicken Little" action by Angelucci, Chair of the Cobb Board of Education is irresponsible at best.

When students are required to do their homework, Angelucci should at least set a good example by doing hers. The MDJ should also validate the facts.

From the College Board US History framework -

Monroe Doctrine, Webster-Ashburton Treaty

The United States sought dominance over the North American continent through a variety of means, including military actions, judicial decisions, and diplomatic efforts.

• American Colonization Society, Frederick

Despite the outlawing of the international slave trade, the rise in the number of free African Americans in both the North and the South, and widespread discussion of various emancipation plans, the United States and many state governments continued to restrict African Americans' citizenship possibilities.
Rhett Writer
August 14, 2014
And you consider those NEGATIVE STATEMENTS to be adequate instruction on the Monroe Doctrine and the work of Frederick Douglas?

If so, then I submit that you, Sir, are part of the problem to which Angelucci refers.
@ Rhett Writer
August 14, 2014
Don't think "anonymous" was commenting on NEGATIVE STATEMENTS. It appears they were pointing out that Angelucci wasn't accurate when she states that Frederick Douglas and the Monroe Doctrine weren't included in the College Board class framework.

The facts are clear. They are included. Angelucci said they are not. You're certainly entitled to your historical opinion.
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