Skip to main content

What's funnier than a bunch of conservative ideologues accusing US History teachers of historical revisionism?  Not much, right?  I'm still catching my breath . . .

But that's exactly what's been happening for a few months now, ever since the College Board folks, at the urging of some high school history teachers, decided to take the audaciously revolutionary action of updating the framework for the AP US History exam (APUSH).

The College Board, the nonprofit that administers Advanced Placement (AP) tests as well as the SAT, explains, in great detail, on its website exactly why the test was updated and who has been involved.  But let's not let boring old facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory . . . 'kay?

It all started with Larry Krieger, a retired New Jersey high school history teacher.  Larry got hold of an advance copy of the new framework and didn't like what he saw, one little bit.

And here's a clue as to why, from his website

Larry Krieger is a renowned author and educator whose books and workshops have helped thousands of students achieve high scores on SAT and AP tests.  Larry is the author of several US History, World History, AP prep, and SAT prep  books that are used throughout the U.S. and around the world.
And you know what happens when they go and change the test? all of those test prep books go into remainder bins and the course outlines have to be changed, too.  That all costs Larry Krieger money out of his retirement business.

Of course it would probably be in very poor taste to bring up the money so Krieger got to work riling up conservative groups like Concerned Women for America and American Principles in Action to fight the "vast left-wing conspiracy" trying to subvert the hearts and minds of AP high school students.  But maybe it's best for Larry Krieger to speak for himself via a recent Newsweek interview:

“As I read through the document, I saw a consistently negative view of American history that highlights oppressors and exploiters,” Krieger said on a conference call sponsored by two conservative groups fighting the new APUSH framework. He read quotes from the framework to illustrate his point: “Instead of striving to build a city on a hill, according to the Framework our nation’s Founders are portrayed as bigots who ‘developed a belief in white superiority’—that’s a quote—that was in turn derived from ‘a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority’ and that of course led to ‘the creation of a rigid racial hierarchy.”

To his continued horror, Manifest Destiny suffered the same fate as the Founders. An idea Krieger taught for years as “the belief that America had a mission to spread democracy and new technology across the continent” was described in the framework as “built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority.”

“There’s no discussion whatsoever of the valor or heroism of American soldiers,” Krieger said on the call. He then quoted from the framework: “Wartime experiences such as the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values.”

Larry Krieger and Jane Robbins, who happens to be leading the charge against the Common Core curriculum, were almost destined to find each other and have attracted enough conservative attention that the Republican National Committee recently passed a resolution to protect America's youth from the depredations of Common Core and APUSH, calling the new framework “a radically revisionist view of American history."  

The resolution, unanimously approved, calls for Congress to investigate the APUSH framework and withhold any federal funds designated for The College Board until it has been changed [note the assumption that it WILL be changed.]

Meanwhile, College Board, not wanting to become another ACORN, I'm sure, has provided an Open Letter laying out a comprehensive, reality-based explanation of everything that was done and why, that I expected would almost certainly fall on indignantly deaf ears.  

And, lo and behold, Krieger's and Robbins' response closing with this sentiment:

We continue to urge Mr. Coleman to delay the implementation of the new APUSH curriculum. The delay will give the College Board an opportunity to fully address the program’s flaws and create additional preparation materials.
At any rate, now that APUSH has been yoked with Common Core, it's officially become a "thing" on the right and the subject of a lot of feverish scribbling in online wingnut welfare offices like Townhall, Breitbart, Daily Caller, et al.  

Most recently, Stanley Kurtz, writing for National Review Online offered up a treatise on the "vast left wing conspiracy" to "internationalize" (cough * Marx * cough) American high school history.

Kurtz did Larry Krieger the honor of whipping Krieger's outrage over the ramshackle condition of the "shining city on a hill" into a Da Vinci Code-esque conspiracy confection depicting the fall of Western Civilization at the hands of devious, rampaging Lefty Academics who want to replace America the Beautiful with the United Nations!

Whereupon the battle has been joined by a couple of intrepid Republican legislators in Tennessee's "laboratory of democracy."

To wit:

Gresham and Bell — copying much of the language used in a resolution approved by the RNC — have alleged that the new AP U.S. History framework included "little or no discussion of the founding fathers and the principles of the Declaration of Independence." Moreover, they say, the framework negatively portrays settlers' explorations of America, 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," a letter to the state board of education reads. "The requirements do not include the study of the Holocaust."

No wonder these people can't even buy an election, these days . . . looking at you, Mitt.

Originally posted to BetteNoir on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 12:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site