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.