Home > Uncategorized > States Want to Abandon AP History… and we want to give them the power to write their own standards?

States Want to Abandon AP History… and we want to give them the power to write their own standards?

February 17, 2015

An article posted by Think Progress ought to give pause to anyone who thinks that allowing states to set standards for education is a good idea. A sub-committee of the Oklahoma House overwhelmingly approved proposed legislation that would ban AP History in that state’s public schools. Why?

…(AP History) only teaches students “what is bad about America.”

But wait… there’s more!

Oklahoma Rep. Dan Fisher (R) has introduced “emergency” legislation “prohibiting the expenditure of funds on the Advanced Placement United States History course.” Fisher is part of a group called the “Black Robe Regiment” which argues “the church and God himself has been under assault, marginalized, and diminished by the progressives and secularists.” The group attacks the “false wall of separation of church and state.” The Black Robe Regiment claims that a “growing tide of special interest groups indoctrinating our youth at the exclusion of the Christian perspective.”

Fisher said the Advanced Placement history class fails to teach “American exceptionalism.” The bill passed the Oklahoma House Education committee on Monday on a vote of 11-4. You can read the actual course description for the course here.

For other lawmakers, however, Fisher is thinking too small. Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern (R) claims that all “AP courses violate the legislation approved last year that repealed Common Core.” She has asked the Oklahoma Attorney General to issue a ruling. Kern argues that “AP courses are similar to Common Core, in that they could be construed as an attempt to impose a national curriculum on American schools.”

Before those of us who oppose standardized testing throw our support behind legislation that diminishes the federal role in setting educational standards we need to think about how that will play out in states like Oklahoma where legislators are eager to attack the “false wall of separation of church and state”.

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