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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Republicans are always talking about how the government is way too involved in the American education system. So it’s completely logical that the Republican National Committee (RNC) took the time to write a resolution condemning the new Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History curriculum.

They’re concerned that the new framework, “reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.”

For example, the RNC thinks that 17th-century colonists should be seen in a mostly positive light — and that students should not be taught about the consequences of American colonialism.

The RNC also criticized the curriculum’s framework for not including enough about the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, the role that religion played in forming the United States, and important battles and military heroes.

The critics complained that they weren’t able to view sample tests, which is a standard practice, and that everything in the curriculum is required knowledge, meaning that students are not going to be tested on anything outside the framework.

The RNC asked that the College Board delay implementing the new framework for a year, and that a new framework be developed that allows students “to learn the true history of their country.”

It also requested that Congress and state legislatures investigate this curriculum, and that Congress withhold any federal funding to the College Board until the framework is revised.

The RNC isn’t the only conservative group that has a problem with the way history is being taught. American Principles in Action and Concerned Women for America wrote an open letter to the College Board, condemning the curriculum’s “consistently negative view of American history,” which highlights “oppressors and exploiters while ignoring the dreamers and innovators who built our country.”

The letter also complains that “colonists are portrayed as bigots who developed ‘a rigid racial hierarchy.’” So basically they have a problem with the fact that the curriculum will teach students that slaves and Native Americans were still oppressed after the American Revolution.

The groups are also upset with the framework’s portrayal of Manifest Destiny as something that “was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority,” and that the curriculum focuses too much on some of the negative aspects of World War II, such as the use of atomic bombs and Japanese internment camps.

The College Board is taking this criticism seriously. College Board president David Coleman released a practice AP U.S. history test to the public, and announced that he will soon issue “clarifications” about the framework.

College Board spokeswoman Carly Lindauer told Education Week that the curriculum “is built to be flexible.”

“The new course emphasizes the American founding documents and their essential role in our nation’s history, and recognized American heroism, courage, and innovation,” she said. “College Board leaders continue to meet with individuals who have concerns about the redesign to listen and receive feedback.”

This isn’t the first time that the RNC has spoken out about education. Last year, it denounced the Common Core education standards, not just because they thought it was a government overreach, but because they believed a Glenn Beck-promoted conspiracy theory claiming that Common Core would collect personal student data from lab experiments.

Photo: Pesky Library via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Sand_Cat

    As usual, the GOP can’t stand reality.

    • Allan Richardson

      With its liberal bias!

  • Bookish Miss

    Revisionist history is only revisionist because historians went back to primary sources, realized what was being taught was incorrect, and revised it to better reflect said sources. The GOP just doesn’t like what the historians discovered.

    • Chuck

      Our Supreme Court says that it is OK for political people to lie.

      • Bookish Miss

        Doesn’t mean we can’t call them on their lies.

        • Chuck

          Which still doesn’t make it OK to lie. Go ahead and ‘ call them ‘ on their lies.

  • Dominick Vila

    Sweeping dirt under the rug is not going to hide the deceit used to justify medieval crusades, the extent to which some people went to achieve their narrow goals – including sacrificing the lives of thousands of Americans, Iraqis, and Afghans – or the childish excuses used to trivialize the use of torture by a country that considers itself a bastion of democracy and law and order.

    • Elliot J. Stamler

      Would you prefer the Taliban and Saddam Hussein still in power, Mr. Vila? Our war on Iraq was a mistake for which Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld bear responsibility; our war on Afghanistan was absolutely justified. Not one word from you condemning the worst people on earth but lots of words condemning your own country–which altogether is still the best country on earth. It is “liberals” like you that make Kennedy, Truman, Roosevelt, Moynihan turn in their graves.

      • Julieann Wozniak

        I would prefer, sir, that our students have well-rounded educations. I would prefer that they not be spoonfed vapid pablum, they way we were in a coal patch school back in the 60s. According to my Tea Party friends, I turned out “wrong” anyway…my mom gave me too many library cards and actually drove me there, and bought me glorious books, on any topic I wanted. The school system wanted to dumb me down enough to be a suitably pliant coal miners’ wife (never married). Advanced placement is a godsend to us rural folks.

        • And todays liberal agenda of indoctrinating our children is a good thing? Teaching our kids to become communist. Teaching our kids that firearms are bad. Teaching our kids that they should be reporting on their parents. All part of that which is called common core. The liberals seem to want to rewrite history to get our kids to believe that America is a demon country.

          • Taz202

            “Indoctrinating our children, teaching our kids to become communist?” Really? You are either a sad, delusional person or a paid troll. No one with any common sense would make such a statement.

          • Julieann Wozniak

            Your statement speaks for itself: already brainwashed to follow a particular dogmatic mindset. Do you ever think outside the box? For yourself? That’s the real tragedy: children who are never trained to form creative, independent thought. Which is exactly how kids used to be indoctrinated in your favorite bogeyman: Communist Russia. Read your Solzhenitsyn.

          • Taz202

            Perhaps in Russia, but kenndeb inferred this is going on in US schools. P.S. I’m all for teaching kids that firearms are bad – in the wrong hands, which are most gun nuts.

          • Julieann Wozniak

            Seriously? I can’t picture either of my teacher-cousins turning the little kiddos into commies. Nancy loves acquiring and showing off new stuff too much and Patty is just nice. And really Catholic.

            So this guy’s hypothesis is that unless you have a jillion guns and you kid spouts crap like Glenn Beck, they have turned into evil commies?

            I keep hearing this. Are these people off their meds?

            I have one infrequently used deer rifle (I have to get realllllly hungry) and a jillion books, paper and e-. I’m a better person for it.

          • highpckts

            Wow I hope you don’t have kids!!!

          • Three lovely daughters, 9 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Hopefully they will have a country left after your ilk are done with it. We can’t the liberals out of government offices fast enough.

          • highpckts

            Oh That’s too bad! You have been poisoning minds for a long time now!! Dyed in the wool Republican, right or wrong! That’s what’s wrong with this country!

          • As I have said many, many times, I am not a republican. I am a registered democrat that will never again vote for another dem, at least not until they manage to get the communist liberals out. Maybe someday, my party will get back to their roots and once again represent the American people, instead of the Emperor. I tend to think that it is the liberals and their agenda of destroying this country that is what is wrong with our country, not the republicans, although both are self serving and corrupt.

          • highpckts

            The Emperor again! Got to blame someone right? Might as well be the black man in office! Geezus! I’m so glad you are no longer voting Dem! See ya!!

      • Taz202

        This article is about lying – not Saddam Hussein. Our history books must tell the complete unabridged truth, including why we invaded Iraq.

        • highpckts

          I so agree! Without the truth, not the GOP truth, Our future generations are doomed!

          • Liberal truth is an oxymoron. It doesn’t exist.

          • highpckts

            I find it funny that your truth is ALWAYS the opposite of the Libs even if we have known facts to back us up! How does a mind work that blindly denies the written and oral fact?

          • Chuck

            I despise ‘ liberal thinking. But they tell the truth at least as often as right wingers do, if not more often.

          • Chuck

            Something near this is often written/said : Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it. I say that those that lie about it are doomed to live in the chaos that we are now living in.

        • S.J. Jolly

          Assuming that “the complete unabridged truth” can be told about anything in less than a 7′-tall library book rack.

      • highpckts

        WAR is NEVER the answer! If you are so proud of this country then I would think you would want to be an example of Democracy and not a “super” power pushing it’s weight around! We built this Nation on the idea, in part, that it is free of and from religions running the government! These nations that you speak of are the exact opposite, which I might add, have been warring for centuries over religion! WAR, sir, must be the last resort! There are NO natural resources worth millions of lives!!

        • Elliot J. Stamler

          War should be the last resort and frequently it is the last and only resort and therefore there are plenty of times when war most certainly IS the answer. You are a pacifist and I hate pacifism with every cell of my body because it is that ideology and people like you who enable the worst people on earth to gain and keep and expand power. If it were within my power, I would KILL every pacifist in this country…you are the accomplices of tyranny, genocide, mass murder. And invariably utterly unpatriotic-like YOU.

          • TZToronto

            Elliot, I think you have a problem.

          • Elliot J. Stamler


          • Tom Becham

            Elliot talks a good game, but I’m fairly sure he’s never served.

          • highpckts

            No it’s people like you that drains our resources, like our men and women in the military, who are the problem! War mongers will never win! You can go to Hell with your attitude along with Bush and Cheney who made millions off the backs of the military!

          • Taz202

            Kill all the pacifists? You, sir, are a blood-thirsty war monger!

          • herchato

            I think you’re right that war should be the last resort but I think you are wrong about pacifism. It takes all kinds to make up a good democracy with input from all sides. Hate should have no place in a democracy and many pacifists served and died in many wars so the unpatriotic comment is way off base.

          • Elliot J. Stamler

            If a pacifist serves in combat in a war I can not see how they can be a pacifist as that word is defined. I have never understood why some feel that “hate should have no place in a democracy.” Hatred of evil is itself a good…that is what my religion teaches at least. Evil, of which we have plenty in this sad world, must be fought and not enabled which is what pacifism does and why I hate it and those who adhere to it. We will have the kind of evil that causes war as we always have had until the messianic age arrives…and it ain’t coming soon.

      • Dominick Vila

        As far as I am concerned, I would not trade our country and way of life for anything else.
        As opposed to what some people believe, I don’t think there is anything wrong admitting our mistakes. It doesn’t matter if it was Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, or Vietnam. Using deceit to justify the invasion of Iraq was not only a mistake, it was totally unnecessary and some facets of that decision border on criminality. Retaliation against Al Qaeda could have been achieved by bombing their training camps in Afghanistan. Invasions of other countries often cause more problems than benefits.
        In any case, since 9/11 was planned, carried out, and financed by Saudi Arabian Wahabists, I think the logic used to justify the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had a lot more to do with the need to ensure a pathetic U.S. president was re-elected by projecting an illusion of retaliation, where only personal gain and financial imperatives existed, than anything that could have justified the loss of lives, the maiming of thousands of young Americans, wasting $1.7B, and killing as many as 600,000 Iraqis.
        Yes, the world is better off without the likes of Saddam Hussein, Kaddafi, Mubarak, and other tyrants, but the overthrow of despots like them should be up to the people in the countries they ruled, not us. In any case, since Reagan had no problem supplying Saddam with WMDs, providing him with satellite intelligence, training, and financial aid during the Iran-Iraq war, I would say that there are some among us that don’t mind dealing with the Devil when it is convenient for us…

  • longtail

    It is difficult to imagine how any Republican made it through school.

  • Chuck

    It has been said more than a few times in various ways that ‘ those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it ‘ , I agree with that prediction. Just imagine, if you will, what will be the result of lying about history ( any ). Politicians, especially from the far right, can not, and ever be re-elected, tell the truth.

  • highpckts

    They can’t get votes if their people are educated! Get them while they are young and instill nothing in their minds but nonsense and fear!

    • It’s the whole reason Republicans are so firmly behind “the homeschooling movement” — for the purpose of conservative indoctrination.

      Democrats have no problem with conflicting ideas because they are fully confident that they are right and that, when liberalism and conservatism are compared by rational and objective minds, the former will always come out on top.

      Republicans, in contrast, know that their ideas are total bullshit and will not sustain under scrutiny, ergo their only hope is to completely isolate the next generation and ensure that they are never exposed to any ideas BESIDES conservatism.

      Give them time and eventually they’ll start demanding that homeschooling be mandatory. They’re already yammering for the complete elimination of the department of education.

      • highpckts

        Asshats!! Sorry but I just don’t understand how anyone can deliberately undermine their own country

        • You and your ilk have been DOING that — bullshit you don’t understand that.

          And the reason why could not possibly be any more obvious: It’s because you and your ilk are butt-hurt over the fact that we actually are a democracy, that you are not the permanently established ruling class of a plutocracy, and you and your ilk have a simple policy of “If we can’t have it, nobody can.”

          What, did you think we would all conveniently forget how you Tory whores were cheering when the government was shut down? Did you think we would conveniently forget how your intellectual leaders gathered in Washington twice in just the last twelve months alone with the intent of overthrowing the government and murdering the administration?

          Fuck you, you don’t understand. Undermining your own country is what you tea-baggers live for!

          • highpckts

            I’m sorry but who are you replying to?? I was replying to Michael Ross. I think you are confused! I would throw the GOP party out without a moments hesitation! They are the Asshats I was referring to!

          • JWintheLou

            we should be a Republic with the states having a voice in the Federal Government.

  • Steve Bowlus

    ” … Manifest Destiny as something that “was built on a belief in white
    racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority.”

    So I guess they are OK with “the white man’s burden” and “the Great Game” (Britain) and “Lebensraum” (Hitler).

  • ExRadioGuy15

    Allow me to translate what the GOP really wants here:
    Delete anything from the curriculum that makes them and/or their ideology look bad while emphasizing anything that makes them look good or, at the very least, “neutral”….
    Listen, people: the Republican Party are full of leaders who are Fascist psychopaths (Cons), Fascist sociopaths (Tea Partiers) or Fascism-suborning sociopaths (Libertarians).
    If you are at all surprised that the GOP would suggest this, you really haven’t been paying attention. As a matter of fact, if you’re not a part of one of those three groups above, you’re probably a victim of the GOP’s nearly century-long Fascist “gaslighting” propaganda campaign.
    Either way, it’s a very bad time to be a Republican. It’s an even-worse time to be VOTING Republican, something GOP Progressive and Moderates needed to stop doing four years ago. But, GOP Progressives and Moderates can atone for their “sins” by voting for the people who truly represent them now during this fall’s elections: Democrats.

    • It is the liberal/progressives that want to rewrite our history to put America in a bad light.

      • Kick and scream all you want, Tory, but that will never magically become true. Time and time again, the Democrats have offered to let their ideas be compared to yours, and every single time, you and your ilk have responded by throwing a temper tantrum and demanding that the other side not even be mentioned by name.

        That’s exactly what’s going on here and you damn well know it. And accusing liberals of the very shit you and your ilk are doing isn’t going to change that — it’s just going to make you a hypocrite to boot.

      • Alianna Busby

        Kenndeb… America is not perfect and denying our mistakes and transgressions is not rewriting, it is interpreting…

  • Once again, the supposed opponents of big government overreach demonstrate that they actually can’t get enough of it. This is the kind of historic whitewashing I would expect to read about from George Orwell.

    • Tom Becham

      It’s only government overreach if they dislike it.

    • Welcome to the liberal new world order.

      • Lynda Groom

        Please proceed sir!

      • Get bent you miserable piece of Tory crap. Did you somehow will yourself to forget the entire article you are now commenting on? Or are you holding on to the usual tea-bagger hope that you can disguise your raging boner for tyranny by accusing liberals of the very things you revel in once again?

  • Jakie Lewis

    Clearly the GOP would love to rewrite history to fit their idea of reality….

  • Allan Richardson

    The countries which lost World War Two have, for the most part, faced up to their aggression and the hate-filled reasons they started the war. Yet still, there are a few diehard individuals, including the Germans who get into “political trouble” (and drag foreign leaders into it) when they honor the SS members who died in combat. There are also some Japanese who do not want to admit that Korean, Chinese and other civilians were the victims of atrocities, most notably the Korean “comfort women” who were forced to be prostitutes for Japanese soldiers. They also try to paint the attempt to take over all of Asia as something positive; they were “helping impose order in a failed state” in China; bringing about a “greater East Asia prosperity sphere,” etc. And they were “misled” into war (even their Divine Emperor being deceived) by a few criminals, while the people had no evil intentions.

    The “country” that lost the Civil War here in America is now claiming that they were right, and has almost taken over the federal government that they tried to abolish, as an alternate way of achieving their original goals.

    And in the Middle East, Israeli and Arab school children are taught their respectively biased views of history, painting their side as on a divine Holy War and the other side as pure evil, when the truth is somewhere in the middle. I believe the Israelis are somewhat closer to the truth, but still tend to see the Arabic population (Palestinians) as something like the Canaanites who were conquered in the Biblical account.

  • Alianna Busby

    As an early graduate from the AP system I have to say that the AP History Class was the absolute best and most challenging test of my high school career. I will always thank that teacher for his role in creating a reasoning being from my small and unawakened mind. History is NOT a set of date and events, History is NOT people and what they did. History is WHY people hold a certain world view and what reasoning processes they go through to conclude a course of action that will be taken. This article mentions tests? What tests matter? Every single part of the AP history curriculum, and I have thoroughly read the new common core… teaches students to get into the mindset of those making decisions and come to their own conclusions, right or wrong, on the whole picture of how and why these notable people came to play out events. These things cannot be tested in traditional ways… no multiple choice or fill in questions… AP history is a vital lesson in reason and writing skills, PERIOD. I distinctly remember the course being an adult and college level class and my first experience in “seminar” style learning… every single bit of the class was focused on finding our own version of events and writing 15-25 page essays on our thoughts. There were NO grades, we presented our paper to the entire class who would spend several days discussing our conclusions, all from differing perspectives because the instructor had given us reference material in opposing views. This is how real learning happens… progressive learning if you’ll have it. Creating thinkers and leaders from masses of student taught to take tests. The value of AP coursework is not in the underlying facts of history, it is in remembering how we come to view it.