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

Bill Ames Testimony to SBOE on APUSH

Dear Friends, a very informative follow-up testimony to the SBOE on APUSH, written by Bill Ames a former member of the Writing Committee for the Texas History Curriculum Standards.
September 21, 2014

SBOE Members,

This email is a follow-up to my SBOE testimony on September 19, 2014.

I am pleased and confident that the passage of Mr. Mercer’s resolution will send a powerful message to the College Board. Larry Krieger’s articles and subsequent expert testimony revealed the anti-American tone of the APUSH framework.

I hope the College Board takes the SBOE’s rebuttal seriously, and responds with a revised framework that reflects not only a balanced view of U. S. history, but also is consistent with the views of mainstream Texas citizens.

After all, the ultimate responsibility for our education policy resides in the hands of Texas’ overwhelmingly conservative parents and citizens, rather than with education bureaucrats.

However, there is still great cause for concern. Although Mr. Mercer’s resolution calls for ongoing review of the College Board’s response to the SBOE, it is problematic, given the negative ideological bias in the original APUSH framework, that the framework writers are disposed or even able to provide the necessary balance to make the course acceptable to Texas.

Those of you on the Board who were members during 2010, and involved with that year’s adoption of U. S. history standards, remember well, that as amendment after amendment was added to the standards to achieve balance, anguished cries from leftist educators and their media allies called for the updated standards to be sent back to the review panels for finalization.

The Board wisely refused, understanding that doing so would simply allow the fox to revisit the chicken coop.

Yet that may be exactly what the Board is doing now, by agreeing for the College Board to revise its own work.

Perhaps the SBOE should insist that the revision committee be balanced, by including such as Larry Krieger, Jane Robbins, Ralph Ketcham, Sandra Stotsky, and Peter Wood as participants to balance the revision process. Such inclusion would certainly demonstrate good faith on the part of the College Board.

In my testimony, I chose to elevate the concern, from APUSH content to the broader issue of liberal takeover of academia in the United States.

Denish D’Souza’s recent comments on national television signal that America’s education establishment has been taken over by leftist professors.

The negative tone of the APUSH framework convinces me that the College Board APUSH creators are fully part of this agenda.

During my presentation, Ms. Knight and Mr. Ratliff challenged my assertion of leftist domination. Attached to this email is the 2010-2011 survey of 23,824 full time faculty members at 417 American colleges and universities, conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA.

The data reveals that over 65% of professors in public and private universities self-identify as liberal or far left. Less that 10% identify as conservative or far right.

The left has taken over academia. Our work has just begun.

Going forward, the SBOE, and Texas citizens, need to keep a watchful eye on the APUSH revisions. Bill Ames

Below is a survey of responses from our College Professors, liberals vs. conservatives

Tincy Miller

HERI Survey