Congratulations, Oklahoma students! You may be losing the chance to earn college credit in high school.
Oklahoma Republican legislators are debating whether Advanced Placement courses should be taught
in their state's public schools. Let's pause to absorb that, shall we? Oklahoma lawmakers do not want their state's students to be able to take classes that will allow them to earn college credit while still in high school, thanks to a far-right conspiracy theory about the College Board's latest AP U.S. History framework. One bill currently being considered would specifically ban the AP U.S. History course, while some legislators think that an anti-Common Core law passed last year may already apply to all AP courses.
According to some conservatives, including likely 2016 presidential also-ran Ben Carson, the AP History framework fails to say enough about George Washington while saying too much about slavery, and other unpatriotic things. In Oklahoma:
[State Rep. Dan] Fisher, who has been active in a church-and-state organization called the Black Robe Regiment, said the AP U.S. history course framework emphasizes “what is bad about America.”
Larry Krieger, a teacher who spoke to the committee via conference call, implied that the AP framework was created by some of the same people responsible for Common Core.
Both said the framework omits the concept of “American exceptionalism.”
First off, we're talking here about a framework
, not an entire curriculum. You read the framework in like 20 minutes; an AP History course lasts for an entire school year. Things will be taught that are not in the framework. What's more, it's chock full of American exceptionalism-related concepts:
The problem these conservatives have with this framework is not that it omits concepts that have sometimes been presented as American exceptionalism, it's that the framework points to historical answers more complicated than "WE'RE NUMBER ONE! U-S-A U-S-A!!!!!!" And for this, Oklahoma Republican lawmakers are seriously talking about banning state funding for not just the AP U.S. History class but for all Advanced Placement classes, so that Oklahoma students don't have the same opportunity students in other states have to start college having already earned some credit.