States push for changes to AP US History framework

by RUBY AUJLA

Staff Writer

APUSH Controversy - Ruby A.

Advanced Placement United States History, also known as “APUSH,” is a course offered to high school students by College Board. The course, part of College Board’s Advanced Placement program, is designed as a college freshman-level class and encourages students to focus on the impact of historical events, rather than simply memorizing them.

In 2014, College Board revealed a new framework for the course and a redesigned AP Exam for students to take in May 2015. While not all teachers were pleased with the changes, most were quick to adapt their lesson plans and activities to meet the framework. However, few states are now openly opposing the new curriculum and are demanding changes be made immediately.

Members of various school boards argue that the framework does not accurately depict “American exceptionalism” and excludes important historical figures and documents, such as the Founding Fathers and Declaration of Independence. Opponents of the framework feel that the course focuses on negative events in America’s history, such as slavery, instead of patriotic themes.

States targeting A.P. US History include Oklahoma, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Complaints began with an Oklahoma House committee meeting earlier in February 2015, where a bill was passed to potentially eliminate state funding for the class. However, committee leaders are currently revising the bill and asking College Board to make changes they feel are necessary. If states do choose to remove funding for the course, high school students will miss out on the opportunity to earn college credit by passing the AP Exam, which is administered in early May toward the end of the school year.

The College Board has defended the framework, claiming that the document is only a set of guidelines for teachers to reference, not a strict curriculum. However, the organization plans to analyze feedback provided on the framework and could possibly make changes to it in the summer of 2015.

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