College Board’s AP U.S. History – 2 UPDATES

Dear friends,

Two very important and informative articles written by Jane Robbins, co-authored by Larry Krieger. Jane Robbins is the senior fellow of APP education of the American Principles Project, a conservative advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Larry Krieger, the founder of InsiderTest Prep. He taught SAT classes for over 20 years and AP classes for over 35 years…a scholar, author and historian.

“College Board’s AP U.S. History Ignores Valor and Sacrifices
 of America’s Military”

On June 6, 1984, President Ronald Reagan stood at the very spot on the northern coast of France where forty years before Allied soldiers had stormed ashore to liberate Europe from the long night of Nazi tyranny.

As an audience of D-Day veterans and world leaders listened, President Reagan introduced the American Rangers who captured the cliffs as “champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”

But starting this year, many of our best students won’t learn about the “boys of Pointe du Hoc.” Although state and local U.S. history standards recognize and honor the heroism and contributions of American military commanders, servicemen and women, and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, the College Board’s redesigned Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) Framework ignores them. In fact, it essentially ignores all of American military history from the Revolutionary War to the present day.

About 500,000 of our nation’s most academically talented high school sophomores and juniors take APUSH. The College Board’s new Framework completely omits all American military commanders and notes just two battles – Gettysburg and Sherman’s March to the Sea. It totally neglects the valor and sacrifices of the American servicemen and women. Veterans and their families will be dismayed to learn that Washington does not cross the Delaware, William Travis (a South Carolina hero) does not defend the Alamo, and the GI’s do not liberate Europe.

Instead, our students will learn that the American Expeditionary Force in World War I “played a relatively limited role in the war” (yes, it states that even though American casualties totaled almost 321,000) and that during World War II the “atomic bomb raised questions about American values.” In addition, the Framework reduces both the Korean War and the Vietnam War to just one sentence, while completely omitting the GI Bill, the Berlin Airlift, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Although the (APUSH) Framework largely passes over American military history, it does devote extensive coverage to conflicts with Native Americans. For example, the Framework notes five major wars between Native Americans and the colonists and two major battles between Plains Indians and the U.S. Cavalry. Indeed, the Framework devotes more space to diplomatic relations with Native American tribes following the French and Indian War than it does to both World War I and World War II combined. It is also shocking to learn that the Framework omits all mention of General Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander of the D-Day Invasion, yet sees the need to note Chief Little Turtle — whose warriors killed 600 U. S. soldiers in America’s worse military disaster against Native American forces.

The College Board insists that the APUSH Framework offers a “balanced” presentation of the American story. However, the imbalance between its minimal coverage of traditional American military history and its enhanced coverage of the conflicts with Native Americans strongly supports the conclusion that the authors of the Framework had other objectives.

The nine professors and high school teachers who wrote the APUSH Framework adopted a consistent revisionist interpretation of American history. In a penetrating analysis of the roots of the Framework, Stanley Kurtz explains that, from the revisionist point of view, “the heart of our country’s history lies in the pursuit of empire, the dominion over others.” Given this focus on America as a rising imperialist power, “the formative American moment was the colonial assault on the Indians… This is why the Framers and the principles of our Constitutional system receive short shrift in the new AP guidelines, and why the conflict between the settlers and the Indians has taken center stage.”

The Framework’s neglect of American military history is also closely tied to the document’s aversion to the concept of American Exceptionalism. According to this traditional concept, America has a historic mission to be a model and defender of freedom and democracy. American forces thus do not go into battle because they hate the enemy or to seize new territories. Rather, like “the boys of Pointe du Hoc,” they risk their lives to defend freedom at home and around the world.

One must wonder how, in a few years, APUSH will describe the heroics of today’s military. Or will the College Board just ignore them altogether?

The Framework’s neglect of the valor and contributions of America’s military forces is unacceptable. During the initial assault on Omaha Beach, the American commander called on his troops to demonstrate extraordinary valor with this legendary command: “Rangers lead the way!” No such inspirational stories appear in the APUSH Framework.

We urge veterans and their families to lead the way in demanding that the College Board withdraw the APUSH Framework and return to a curriculum that rightly honors their bravery and sacrifice, and that reaffirms our founding principles as something worthy of the good fight.

“College Board Attacks Local School Board”
Co-authored by: Larry Krieger and Jane Robbins

High-school students in Jefferson County, Colorado, are outraged about censorship of their history curriculum. In a recent protest, one student carried a sign reading, “Teaching Partial History is a lie.”

One might conclude that these students are upset over the College Board’s recent rewrite of the Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) course, which excludes reams of information about their country that they would have learned under the previous APUSH course. But no – they’re upset that some adults want to return to the more accurate and complete course. And the College Board is cheering them on in their adolescent confusion.

What’s going on here?

This is merely the next step in the College Board’s attempt to undermine the constitutional authority of state and local officials to determine curriculum for their states and districts.

The unelected, unaccountable College Board endorses a radical leftist view of the world, beginning with U.S. history, and has no qualms about using naive schoolchildren as pawns to promote its vision.

With its new APUSH course, the College Board has decreed that there should be a national history curriculum, and that the leftist professors and teachers on its committees should dictate what that curriculum will be. Gone is the previous APUSH course, which relied on state history standards for its content. In its place is an APUSH Framework that, in the words of James Madison scholar Ralph Ketcham, paints “a portrait of America as a dystopian society – one riddled with racism, violence, hypocrisy, greed, imperialism, and injustice.”

This course does not meet with the approval of the school board of Jefferson County. Apparently the school board believes a course in American history should at least mention the Founders, including the legendary American after whom their county was named. But this view grates on the teenaged protestors who, egged on by a teachers’ union with its own agenda, are loudly asserting their right to historical ignorance.

Amid this tempest rises the College Board which, in an unprecedented and quite astonishing turn of events, has weighed in on the side of the protestors and against the elected school board. “The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program,” it intones, “supports the actions taken by students in Jefferson County, Colorado to protest a school board member’s request to censor aspects of the AP U.S. History course.” A school board’s action to uphold its state history standards against usurpation by unelected, unaccountable outsiders is now considered “censorship.” Presumably it’s not “censorship” to banish from an American history course the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers, military heroes, Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King, Jr., and on and on.

Who anointed the College Board the arbiter of what students should learn about American history? Under what authority does the College Board presume to dictate to elected officials what shall be taught in their schools? If parents and other taxpayers had any doubts that the College Board wants to replace state and local control with its own agenda, those doubts are now resolved.

Flexing the muscle it has developed during its century-plus of monopoly, the College Board warns darkly that schools and districts must do as they’re told. If they dare to disagree with any “essential concepts” of an AP course (for example, if they insist on teaching America the Exceptional rather than America the Ordinary), the College Board will strip its “AP” designation from the course.

Fine. It should be crystal clear now that the College Board monopoly must be broken. There is no reason one company – especially one populated by apparent ideologues who oppose the constitutional structure concerning authority over education – should have an iron grip over college advanced-placement credit. State boards of education must act to empower competitors to develop their own courses and tests. Such initiatives may acquaint the arrogant mandarins of the College Board with a truly American concept “censored” from the APUSH Framework – the free market.

Tincy Miller

Larry Krieger Testimony on Mercer APUSH Resolution

Dear Friends,

A very informative Testimony by Larry Krieger during the SBOE meeting on September 19, 2014 regarding Mercer APUSH Resolution. Larry is the founder of InsiderTest Prep. He has taught SAT classes for over 20 years and AP classes for over 35 years…a scholar, author and historian.
A proud American Patriot!

“This is a story of two very different documents, the TEKS written to the duly elected members of the Texas SBOE versus the APUSH Framework written by a committee of 9 people selected by the College Board, a private organization that is accountable to no one! The vision and purposes of the two documents could not be more different. TEKS (Tx. Curriculum Standards) celebrates our nation’s Founders, the benefits of the free enter-
prise system and the values embodied in the concept of American exceptionalism. The APUSH Framework ignores most of the Founders, fails to discuss free enterprise and totally omits American exceptionalism.

Early this morning I drove across the Delaware River at the spot where Washington and the Continental Army crossed on Christmas Eve 1776. I have not come to Austin as a Democrat or a Republican. I have not come to Austin as a liberal or as a conservative. I have come to Austin as a proud American. My message is clear and timeless. Principles are enduring. From William Travis at the Alamo to Roy Benevidez in Vietnam to Marcus Luttrell in Afghaniatan, Texans have always defended American values. Now it is your turn. I call upon this committee to say YES to Mr. Mercer’s Resolution and NO to the College Board’s attempt to nationalize American history and circumvent both the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and TEKS Standard. As always, if Texans lead other will follow!”

Tenth Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.


WHEREAS the State Board of Education (SBOE) is in no way attempting to restrict access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses in public schools; and

WHEREAS the purpose of College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) and advanced high school courses is to develop key cognitive skills that include intellectual curiosity, the ability to analyze conflicting points of view, the capability to construct arguments based on valid evidence, and effective problem-solving strategies; and

WHEREAS the omission of multiple points of view within the scope of any curriculum framework undermines the basic tenets of our society and education system; and

WHEREAS the Texas Education Code (TEC) Section 28.002(h) states: “The State Board of Education and each school district shall foster the continuation of the tradition of teaching United States and Texas history and the free enterprise system in regular subject matter and in reading courses and in the adoption of instructional materials. A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.”; and

WHEREAS almost 500,000 U.S. students, including approximately 46,000 in Texas, take the College Board’s Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) course each year, which may be the final and only U.S. History class for these high school students; and

WHEREAS in 2013, $16 million in tuition was saved by those Texas students who attained the required level of achievement on the APUSH exam; and

WHEREAS the SBOE is elected by the citizens of Texas and empowered by statute to establish courses of study, and has rulemaking authority related to the AP coursework and to the use of the AP exam in performance acknowledgments; and

WHEREAS traditionally APUSH has presented a more balanced view of American history in concert with CCRS; and

WHEREAS the College Board, a private, non-elected organization, recently released the APUSH Curriculum Framework that moved away from a balanced approach with regard to many important events in American history; and

WHEREAS the Framework reflects a view of American history that is critical of American exceptionalism, the free enterprise system, and emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while minimizing positive aspects; and

WHEREAS Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States is recommended as supplementary material in the four model syllabi originally presented at the APUSH 2014 Summer Institute and online; and

WHEREAS the Framework omits discussion of various critical topics, including the Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence, constitutional principles, significant religious influences, military history, commanders and heroes, as well as individuals who have traditionally been part of APUSH; and

WHEREAS the College Board describes the Framework and its learning objectives as the “required knowledge” for measuring student mastery of APUSH, thereby minimizing the teaching of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) mandated by the SBOE for high school graduation and necessary for college and career readiness; and

WHEREAS, in light of the foregoing and in response to the efforts of Texas citizens, parents, educators, and members of the SBOE, the College Board has indicated that it will take remedial action, including the following:


  • Reformatting the requirements so that teachers are encouraged to use local content and the TEKS in teaching the APUSH course.


  • Creating and maintaining a vehicle by which public comments and input may be provided, said vehicle also to include a compilation of comments and a response to same by the College Board,


  • Reducing the emphasis on Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States, and


  • Increasing the amount of resources available to teachers so as to clarify that alternative perspectives are encouraged, so long as they are supported by historical evidence;



RESOLVED, That the SBOE strongly recommends that the College Board revise the APUSH Framework so that it is consistent both with the course’s traditional mission and with the shared purpose of the CCRS, the TEKS and the Texas Education Code; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the SBOE respectfully requests that the College Board revise the key concepts of the APUSH Framework and examination in a transparent manner that accurately reflects U.S. history without an ideological bias and that restores and encourages flexibility to states, school districts and teachers in how to teach the course; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the SBOE will diligently monitor the proposed actions of the College Board to ensure that the remedial measures set out above are implemented in an effective and meaningful manner; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That upon approval of this resolution the Texas State Board of Education shall deliver a copy to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Speaker of the House.

WITNESS our signatures this nineteenth day of September, two thousand and fourteen, in Austin, Texas.

This resolution is the result of the SBOE’s work last week…
Vote: 8 members voted YES. 4 members voted NO
2 members were absent. Ratliff was a NOT VOTED.

Barbara Cargill, Chair

Mavis B. Knight, Secretary

Tincy Miller