An Interview with Jane Robbins: Common Core and the Contents are not so Common

Dear Friends,


A very important and informational interview with Jane Robbins by Michael F Shaughnessy, Education Views Senior Columnist.


                   “An Interview with Jane Robbins: Common Core and the Contents are not so Common.”


QUESTION:  Jane, first of all, tell us a bit about yourself, your background, experience and involvement in Common Core.

 ANSWER: I am an attorney and senior fellow with the American Principles Project, which was founded by a law-school classmate of mine (Prof. Robert George of Princeton). My bio follows:

 Jane Robbins is an attorney and a senior fellow with the American Principles Project in Washington, DC. In that position she has crafted federal and state legislation designed to restore the constitutional autonomy of states and parents in education policy, and to protect the rights of religious freedom and conscience. Her essays on these topics have been published in various print and online media. With Emmett McGroarty she co-authored the APP/Pioneer Institute report, Controlling Education From the Top: Why Common Core Is Bad for America, and with McGroarty and Joy Pullmann the Pioneer Institute report, Cogs in the Machine: Big Data, Common Core, and National Testing. She has written numerous articles about the problems with Common Core, threats to student privacy, and usurpation of state sovereignty over education and has testified about these issues before the legislatures of nine states. She is a graduate of Clemson University and the Harvard Law School.



 QUESTION: This is an old question- but your fresh perspective is welcomed. Where does it say in the Constitution that the Federal government can tell the states what curriculum to follow?

 ANSWER: It doesn’t. The Constitution gives the federal government no role at all in any aspect of education. Regarding curriculum specifically, the Common Core proponents claim that CC is “just standards, not curriculum,” but they and we know that the point of standards is to drive curriculum. The Pioneer Institute has published a report showing exactly how the federal government will, illegally, dictate curriculum through Common Core: And some of the pedagogy of Common Core, particularly in math, is so prescriptive that teachers are told exactly how they must teach. Being allowed to choose one Common Core textbook over another Common Core textbook isn’t much of a choice.


QUESTION: What does Common Core have to do with privacy?

 ANSWER:  Common Core is part of a much larger scheme that requires states to implement CC standards and aligned curriculum, administer CC-aligned assessments, and build out their state longitudinal databases (financed substantially by the federal government through the Stimulus bill and Race to the Top). The state data systems must be built to identical specifications to facilitate sharing data across state lines. A direct connection to CC is through the CC-aligned assessments (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium), each of which has a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Education requiring the consortium to allow student-level data to be made available to the US Department “on an ongoing basis.”


Another, more nebulous but equally dangerous, connection: CC is essentially a recycling of the discredited Outcome-Based Education from years ago. That is, it diminishes academic knowledge in favor of instilling the “correct” mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors in children. It thus is perfect for ushering in the interactive “digital learning” platforms, which are focused on exactly the same thing. These platforms can compile essentially personal profiles on students through the “fine-grained” information the students give off as they interact with the platforms. My testimony on all this is attached to the email. Also see a thorough discussion in this report:


QUESTION: Let’s get to some common ground here. We have states as disparate as Alaska and Hawaii. Should these states have exactly the same curriculum?

 ANSWER: Only if you believe, as Bill Gates does, that every child in every school in every state should be trained (not to be confused with “educated”) in exactly the same way, because that would be much more efficient. Why not have a Common Core Operating System? Why do we have 50 states anyway? That’s so inefficient!


QUESTION: Has anyone in the Common Core movement thought that perhaps we need to increase the school day or school year in order to assist students with this new approach?

 ANSWER:  This issue hasn’t come up much in connection with Common Core, but the Obama administration advocates increased school time: Arne Duncan also wants schools to become “community centers” that will be the hub of students’ lives all the time (instead of students’ being with their families, or involved in church or other activities):


QUESTION:  Teachers already have quite a full agenda every day. Who is providing support for this apparently massive change in curriculum?

 ANSWER:  The states will have to shoulder the responsibility of providing costly professional development, which they are doing with varying degrees of success (or failure). Of course, no amount of PD can add hours to the day. I know a Georgia teacher of gifted math students who recently retired, partly because she was overwhelmed by the new requirements – for example, having to spend 2-3 hours each night inputting student data.


QUESTION:  Jane, this entire issue reminds me of the fight between states regarding slavery. While some may see this as a stretch, is the issue surrounding Common Core one of “states’ rights” to provide their own perspective on education?

 ANSWER:  The Constitution certainly contemplates that each state will control its education system. By centralizing control in both the federal government and unaccountable private interests, Common Core is inconsistent with the constitutional scheme. The difference is that in the slavery situation, some states were trying to retain power to deny fundamental rights to certain human beings. With Common Core, by contrast, parents in individual states are objecting to the denial of their fundamental right to control their children’s education.


QUESTION:  Let’s also face some facts- taxpayers pay for books, teacher’s salaries, indirectly, the buildings. Have taxpayers been assessed as to anything about Common Core?

 ANSWER:  Taxpayers haven’t yet experienced the full weight of the costs that will be imposed by Common Core. The testing hasn’t gone into effect – testing that will require enormous expenditures for technology infrastructure. See this report for an overview:


The only other thing I would add is that Common Core doubles down on all the progressive policies that have damaged public education over the last 50 years – centralization, standardization, outcome-based education, fuzzy math, diminished study of classic literature, etc. I don’t think doing more of what manifestly doesn’t work will result in success this time.



 Tincy Miller

SBOE, District 12

APUSH Provides Contempt for America in Texas High Schools

Dear Friends,


A very informative and important article from the, under ‘The Scoop’, written by Bill Ames.  Bill is an education activist and author who lives in Dallas, Texas. His book, “TEXAS TROUNCES THE LEFT’S WAR ON HISTORY” ( tells the story of his experience in developing Texas’ U. S. history standard in 2009-2010. In 2013, he reviewed CSCOPE U. S. history lessons as part of the State Board of Education’s Ad Hoc Committee Project, and is now involved with the new College Board AP U.S. history framework.  He welcomes reader comments at


APUSH Provides Contempt for America in Texas High Schools

College Board Partners with Leftist Academia


AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — The recent implementation of a totally reworked Advanced Placement U. S. History (APUSH) framework has given rise to contentious debate. Mainstream American critics challenge APUSH as being anti-American. The private, unaccountable College Board APUSH creators retaliate by claiming that the new framework provides more flexibility to teachers, while addressing an alleged “whitewashing” of U. S. history.

The debate has raged on, and does not need to be repeated here. Suffice to say that the APUSH framework, compared with most state and local standards, is like mixing oil and water.

It is time to end this debate charade, and reveal the bottom-line truth. Time to call a spade a spade. Time to cut to the chase.

During the 1960s, liberal professors began to revise how history is taught in America’s colleges and universities. These liberal professors have demonstrated a solid track record of contempt for American values, while indoctrinating students with their warped ideology.

There has been a long-term desire on the part of these professors to extend their indoctrination to America’s public schools. One egregious example:

In the early 1990s, UCLA professor Gary Nash (right,) along with the National Council for Social Studies, released new United States history standards. These standards, like APUSH, focused on Native- and African-American history while de-emphasizing the contributions of western civilization.

The standards were rejected by none other than the United States Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, by a vote of 99 to 1.

The Senate’s condemnation concluded with the words, “Any recipient of federal funds … for standards and curriculum development … should have a decent respect for United States history’s roots in western civilization.”

 In order to promote leftist academics’ agenda, the College Board has provided its APUSH framework, to give liberal academia yet another opportunity to extend its contempt for America to public schools.

A contentious statement, you say? Let us develop the story.

In 1973, author and journalist John LeBoutillier (right,) was a sophomore at Harvard University. His instructor in History 97 class was one Barry Schmidt, an admitted radical who sported a full-length beard and a pony tail tied with a red ribbon.

LeBoutillier wrote about his introduction to the class in his best-selling book, Harvard Hates America.  Schmidt began:

“I don’t give a s— about American history. I don’t give a damn about facts or dates or any of that other traditional crap.  Hell, I don’t even know what year the Civil War began. 

“As far as I’m concerned, that type of history just plays along with the right-wing fascists who run this country…..the very people I’m dedicated to overthrowing….”

Fast forward to 2014. The college blog Campus Reform posted a video of interviews it conducted of Harvard students, just a couple of weeks ago.

The single question was straightforward: “What is the greater threat to world peace, ISIS or America?”

One student answered, “I think American imperialism and our protection of oil interests in the Middle East are destabilizing the region and allowing groups like ISIS to gain power….We are, at some level, the cause of it.”

Another student answered: “As a Western civilization, we’re to blame for a lot of the problems that we’re facing now.  I don’t think anyone would argue that we didn’t create the problem of ISIS ourselves…. (Middle Easterners) have a skewed view of us, just as a lot of Americans have a skewed view of them, of ISIS.”

A third student proclaimed: “The amount of spending that America has on causes of potential destruction in the world is really outlandish.  We’ve been learning about this recently, how much America spends on defense mechanisms alone, and it’s really quite astonishing compared to any other country in the world, really.”

All students claimed that America was the larger threat to world peace.

History 97 instructor Barry Schmidt and his successors at Harvard can be proud.

Columnist David Limbaugh, covering the interviews in his October 10, 2014 article “Harvard Students Parade Their Academic Poison”, wrote,

“I wouldn’t be nearly so troubled by Harvard University students identifying America as a bigger threat to world peace than the Islamic State if it weren’t representative of the thinking of so many students throughout the nation. But it is.”

David Limbaugh (at right,) is correct. One needs to look no further for the potential for student indoctrination, than the likes of two controversial university professors, 911 terrorists sympathizer Ward Churchill and unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers.  Both enjoyed enthusiastic peer acceptance in the academic cocktail party circuit during their presence at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Illinois-Chicago, respectively.

There are many more examples.

Liberal professors on America’s college and university campuses make up an overwhelming majority. A 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, reveals that over 65% of professors in public and private universities self-identify as liberal or far left. Less than 10% identify as conservative or far right.

And those liberal professors doggedly impose their ideology on immature, impressionable students.

What do the liberal professors and their allies hold in contempt? Start with the U. S. Constitution.  Last week, fawning, gadfly movie star Gwyneth Paltrow, at yet another Hollywood Democrat fundraiser, introduced President Barack Obama with the words,  “It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs to pass the things that he needs to pass.”

Yeah Gwyneth, let’s just forget the Constitution!

Liberals also loathe the Bill of Rights: First Amendment free speech (unless one agrees with leftist dogma), the 2nd Amendment, and the pesky 9th and 10th Amendments that reserve undesignated rights to the people and the states rather than to the federal government.

Liberals hate the achievements of Western Civilization. They hate Christianity, American exceptionalism, the free enterprise system, personal responsibility, patriotism, and love of country.

Witness the academic movers and shakers who influenced the College Board APUSH framework….. APUSH critic Stanley Kurtz profiled key APUSH contributors in his National Review online article, August 25, 2014.

Thomas Bender(right, New York University) … Bender is a thoroughgoing critic of American Exceptionalism … he is the leading spokesman for the movement to internationalize U. S. history curriculum at every educational level …

Francesca Lopez Civeira (University of Havana) … American power is an object of fear … urges American students be exposed to evidence of the controversial power and presence of the United States beyond our borders…

Suzanne Sinke (Florida State University) … Downplayed the desire of immigrants to find a better life in America … referred to immigrants as migrants …

Penny Von Eschen (University of Michigan) … Relentlessly critical of America’s “cultural imperialism”, and its economic and military presence in the world …

The profiles of this group of hard-core liberal college professors, along with others involved in creating the original framework, provide ample evidence that the College Board is complicit in providing leftist academia with a platform at the high school level to extend its contempt for America.

Further, the College Board has demonstrated that it has no interest in “allowing” locally elected and state school boards to challenge its nationalized curriculum….

The conservative-majority Jefferson County, Colorado school board, concerned about the indoctrination of students taking the APUSH course, created a proposal that would:

  1. Force the College Board to include “instructional materials that present positive aspects of the nation and its heritage.”
  2. Create a committee to regularly review texts and course plans, starting with APUSH, to make sure materials “promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights”, instead of “encouraging or condoning civil disorder, social strike or disregard of the law.”

Citizenship, patriotism, free enterprise?   The College Board indoctrination machine would have none of this. In a terse, “my-way-or-the-highway” response, the CB admonished the JeffCo board, warning 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 Evil), the College Board will strip its “AP” designation from the course.

So much for highly-touted “local control”! Going forward, NO ONE who supports APUSH can honestly claim to be for local control of state and school district curricula.

So where does this leave us?

 The College Board can no longer pretend that it cares about mainstream America’s best interests. Rather, it has become a complicit supporter of America-hating leftist academia, bent on turning America’s public schools into indoctrination centers that major in oppression, imperialism, exploitation, victimization, and racism.

Columnist Walter Williams proposes a solution:

“Parents should become more involved with their children’s education. They should look at the textbooks used and examine their children’s homework.

“Parents should show up en mass at PTA and board of education meetings to ensure that teachers confine their lessons to reading, writing and arithmetic and leave indoctrination to parents.

“The most promising tool in the fight against teacher indoctrination and classroom misconduct is the micro-technology that enables students to secretly record and expose academic misconduct by teachers.”

And the aforementioned David Limbaugh adds:

“We are looking at the next generation, …. who will be leading this nation into the future.

“It is time that responsible parents got off their clueless, apathetic duffs and started doing a better job of educating their kids and inoculating them against the infernal indoctrination that academia and our culture are serving to them in mentally lethal doses.”

In Texas, I believe legislation is required to force school districts to certify TEKS compliance. Our public schools graduate some 300,000 kids into Texas society each year, year after year.

If the College Board and its allies in academia are allowed a platform to teach their radical contempt for America’s greatness, the CB agenda will succeed, and Texas will forever change.



Tincy Miller

Why Students Need Strong Standards (And Not Common Core)


Dear Friends,

A very important and informative article on why students need strong standards (and not Common Core), written by Ze’ev Wurman, a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution. Between 2007 and 2009 he served as a senior policy adviser with the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education. Wurman served as a commissioner on the California Academic Content Standards Commission that in 2010 evaluated the Common Core’s suitability for California adoption.


                NEW WHITE PAPER:

“why students need strong standards [and not common core]”


The new American Principles Project white paper entitled “Why Students Need Strong Standards (and not Common Core)” dispels the myth that the Common Core math standards are better standards and shows that the new standards actually slow down American students’ math progression. 


excerpts from this short and easy-to –understand report:

from page 4:

In other words, the rallying cry for the establishment of a common core of content standards in 2008 explicitly acknowledged that for the U.S. to be benchmarked against top-performing countries, we should teach algebra in the 8th grade. Yet ironically, when the Common Core standards were published a little more than a year later, in the early summer of 2010, they firmly placed the first algebra course in … high school!


from page 10:

…preparation of all K-7 students to take an Algebra 1 class in grade 8 benefits the minority and disadvantaged students the most. The explanation seems pretty obvious. When grade 8 Algebra is considered an accelerated course, students that get the required acceleration—tutoring, home support—come mostly from advantaged households.  Only when everyone is prepared in grades K to 7 to reach algebra in grade 8 do the disadvantaged students get their chance to shine. The second lesson is no less important: …..early Algebra-taking translates directly into increased successful taking of advanced mathematics in high school—not only Geometry and Algebra 2 but even Advanced Placement Calculus AB and BC courses.


from page 12:

But the true travesty of the Common Core is its failure to deliver on its promise of a genuine Algebra course in grade 8, and the devastating impact that failure is bound to have on the achievement of minorities and disadvantaged students. Although politicians and administrators in many states promise to allow “acceleration” and to retain the 8th grade Algebra courses they currently have, these are empty promises. Few, if any, schools will offer acceleration beyond the Common Core in the early grades, because the national Common Core tests will assess only the grade-level Common Core content at each grade in grades 3-8.


from page 13:

The result? Most grade 8 Algebra 1 classes in poor schools will soon close, when the pipeline of prepared students coming out of K-7 dries up, and STEM-bound students will come almost exclusively from advantaged backgrounds, whether in private or public schools. This will be the legacy of Common Core.


from page 13:

But the cruelest irony of the Common Core mathematics is in the huge negative impact it is bound to have on the achievement of minority and disadvantaged students. Those are precisely the students who need rigorous expectations from early elementary grades within their regular curriculum, as they are less likely to get family or paid extra-curricular support.


Massive and robust data from the California experiment over the last 15 years clearly demonstrates this fact. Yet despite its soaring rhetoric of college-readiness for all, the Common Core has abandoned precisely these students.


To read the entire article please go to:



Tincy Miller

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

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


Dear Friends, a very informative article published by Stanley Kurtz a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at This piece was adapted from a version that originally appeared on National Review Online.

Published: 14 September 2014 07:47 PM
Americans are only just now waking up to a quiet but devastatingly effective effort to replace the teaching of traditional American history in our high schools with a new, centrally controlled and sharply left-leaning curriculum.
The College Board, the company that issues the SAT and the various Advanced Placement exams, has created an elaborate new framework for the AP U.S. History Exam that will effectively force nearly all American high schools, public and private, to transform the way they teach U.S. history.
The traditional emphasis on America’s founders and the principles of constitutional government will soon be jettisoned in favor of a left-leaning emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity, etc.
There are serious questions about the legality of the new AP U.S. history exam, insofar as it may conflict with existing history standards in a number of states. Last week, I joined a group of education experts and researchers who published an open letter opposed to the College Board’s history framework. (The full text can be found at the National Association of Scholars website.)
However, questions about the test, as well as public debate over this massive and tremendously controversial change, have been largely suppressed by the stealthy way in which the College Board has rolled out the new test without properly notifying the states in a timely way.
The new AP U.S. history exam has been issued under the authority of David Coleman, president of the College Board and, not coincidentally, architect of the Common Core. We are witnessing a coordinated, two-pronged effort to effectively federalize all of American K-12 education, while shifting its content sharply to the left.
The College Board claims that its highly directive new framework for AP U.S. history is actually adaptable to the preferences of particular states, school districts, and teachers. This is deeply misleading. It is true that the new history framework allows teachers to include examples of their choice. Yet the framework also insists that the examples must be used to illustrate the themes and concepts behind the official College Board vision.
The upshot is that James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and the other founders are largely left out of the new test, unless they are presented as examples of conflict and identity by class, gender, race, ethnicity, etc. The Constitution can be studied as an example of the Colonists’ belief in the superiority of their own culture, for instance. But any teacher who presents a full unit on the principles of the American Constitution taught in the traditional way would be putting his students at a severe disadvantage. So while allowing some minor flexibility on details, the new AP U.S. History framework effectively forces teachers to train their students in a leftist, blame-America-first reading of history.
Texas is at the forefront of the resistance to the new AP U.S. history exam. This week, the State Board of Education will hear a resolution sponsored by Republican member Ken Mercer that rebukes and rejects the new exam.
Texas makes up about 10 percent of the College Board’s market. Were Texas to reject the new AP history exam, the entire project could be put into doubt. Texans need to wake up and demand that Mercer’s resolution be passed. The rest of the country needs to wake up and demand similar action in every state.
Just as the Common Core became an established fact before most American parents, lawmakers, and school districts even knew it existed, the new history exam is about to entrench a controversial and highly politicized national school curriculum without proper notice or debate. George Washington, Jefferson and a full understanding of our founding principles are on the way out. Race, gender, class and ethnicity are coming in, and in clear violation of the Constitution’s guarantee that education remain in control of the states.
The time to oppose the new AP U.S. history exam is now.

The debate: Opposition to the College Board’s new framework for the AP U.S. History exam is rooted in concerns that it is based on the federal Common Core State Standards Initiative. The initiative, which details what students nationwide should know in English language arts and math at each grade level, has been rejected by state lawmakers. Texas is among five states that have rejected the standards.
Recent action: In July, State Board of Education member Ken Mercer accused David Coleman, head of the College Board, of a backdoor attempt to implement Common Core standards. Mercer and others say the Common Core leaves out important people and events in U.S. history and dwells on the negative aspects of capitalism. Opponents also say the College Board has been secretive in its implementation, an allegation the College Board denies, saying the standards were first introduced in 2012.
Coming up: When the state board meets Friday, it is scheduled to consider Mercer’s resolution, which would admonish the College Board “for failing to listen to the numerous complaints” about the exam from parents and educators and request a rewrite of the exam to “accurately reflect U.S. history without a political bias and to respect the sovereignty of Texas over its education curriculum.”

Tincy Miller

Exclusive: “Texas Is Nation’s Last Best Chance To Block APUSH, Say Experts”

Dear Friends,
A very timely and informative article written by Merrill Hope from the Breitbart News: Texas Is Nation’s Last Best Chance To Block APUSH.

9.11.14 – Breitbart Texas

“Exclusive: Texas Is Nation’s Last Best Chance To Block APUSH, Say Experts”
By Merrill Hope

DALLAS, Texas — Yesterday, College Board Vice President Trevor Packer defended the redesigned Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) framework in a letter to colleagues.

The new framework has come under fire nationally for a highly politicized agenda that undermines traditional American and Western cultural values. Breitbart News has reported extensively on APUSH.

Tonight, in a letter released exclusively to Breitbart Texas, the most prominent educational experts and policy makers at the forefront of the APUSH fight have responded to Packer’s letter with an urgent plea to Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) chair Barbara Cargill, calling Texas the “nation’s last best chance to block the College Board’s APUSH power grab.”

They urged her to stand strong and not bend on College Board promises in Packer’s letter.
Next week, the full board meets to introduce and vote on a resolution put forth by board member Ken Mercer. This resolution will request that the College Board rewrite the APUSH course and exam “in a transparent manner to accurately reflect U. S. history without a political bias and to respect the sovereignty of Texas over its education curriculum,” Breitbart Texas reported.

Texas plays a critical role, representing 10% of the College Board’s AP market. It could well mark a turning point in the APUSH battle with the resolution’s passage, to “stand against the nationalization of American education and stand in favor of our country’s deep tradition of local control of the schools,” the letter’s authors wrote to Cargill.

Authored by Peter Wood, President, National Association of Scholars; Stanley Kurtz, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Jane Robbins, Senior Fellow, American Principles Project; Emmett McGroarty, Executive Director, American Principles Project Education; Larry Krieger, Retired AP Teacher and Author; Ronald Radosh, Adjunct Fellow, The Hudson Institute, Prof. Emeritus of History, The City University of New York; and Dr. Sandra Stotsky, the letter to Cargill reads, in its entirety:

“We, the signatories of this rejoinder, have been among the leading critics of the redesigned Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) standards issued by the College Board in October 2012. Our substantive criticisms of the new APUSH Framework are a matter of record. We have come together to issue this statement out of concern that the College Board has issued a misleading and inadequate response to those criticisms, apparently in an effort to forestall corrective action by the Texas State Board of Education.

Our criticisms have covered nine main points:
(1) The new APUSH attempts to impose national standards that will inevitably circumvent state standards and local control.
(2) It is a detailed curriculum deceptively put forward as a mere framework.
(3) It is ideologically slanted in favor of progressive interpretations of American history.
(4) It gives short shrift to or omits important topics.
(5) It purports to train students to be “apprentice historians” without laying a solid foundation in historical knowledge.
(6) Its emphasis on documentary sources lacks many seminal documents.
(7) It falsely presents itself as flexible for teachers.
(8) It fails to provide teachers with adequate preparation materials.
(9) It was written and reviewed by committees dominated by individuals hostile to traditional American history and fails to gives serious attention to American exceptionalism.

Vice President Packer’s letter to the Texas Board of Education is a diversion from and not a response to our criticisms. Most importantly, our first point still stands: the College Board has set itself up as an unaccountable national school board. The “framework” embodies this.

Mr. Packer’s answer is that after months of ignoring critics, the College Board will now welcome “feedback.” Such an approach just entrenches the mistaken ideas that we need national standards and that the College Board can be relied on to tell us what they should be. Who gave the College Board this authority?

If the College Board may once have deserved that trust, it no longer does. In promulgating this new Framework, it has shown ideological partisanship and bias. It has also cast off its traditional deference to teachers, states, and school districts, and replaced it with a College-Board-knows-best attitude. Its willingness to consider “feedback” falls far short of respecting the intelligence and autonomy of the states and the schools.

The College Board offers that concession because it now sees itself faced with public resistance to its partisan version of history. Will the “feedback” it receives matter when the heat is off? Does anyone really believe that writing and submitting comments to the same committee that wrote the standards will have any affect whatsoever?

We do not find this offer timely or likely to lead to the substantial changes that are needed.

The new APUSH is in large measure a stealth attempt to impose a radical rejectionist view of America’s traditional claim to be a nation founded on an exceptional commitment to freedom and equality.

Nibbling around the edges of this radical vision by allowing teachers to add a few themes of their own will not change its character.

Mr. Packer is asking Texas to shelve these worries so that the College Board can institutionalize its program and get on with the work of encouraging textbooks and supplementary materials and teacher training that, once in place, will be almost impossible to amend or improve.

The College Board’s new commitment to “clarify” its instructions does nothing but repeat its talking point that the Framework is “flexible.” The old five-page APUSH Topic Outline that the “redesigned” Framework replaces was flexible. The new 52-page content outline is anything but flexible. It provides no opportunity to study the essentials of American political history as anything more than fleeting illustrations of minor themes.

Mr. Packer emphasizes that the Framework offers a perspective congenial to some college history teachers. Indeed it does, but Texas and other states are under no obligation to mold the teaching of American history to the views of radical historians who dislike the United States.

AP U.S. history will, for many students, be their last survey course in American history. In its current form, it will leave students with a permanently impoverished understanding of their nation’s history.

Telling high school students that they are free to “disagree” with the Framework after telling them that these ideas are common to college survey courses is meaningless. The Framework inculcates a settled view that deflects dissent from its premise that the history of America is a history of crime and injustice perpetrated by the elites on everyone else. Students, moreover, will clearly understand that the AP tests will incorporate the same biases.

The Texas State Board of Education may be the nation’s last best chance to block the College Board’s power grab. We urge you not to give in to the College Board’s efforts at misdirection and camouflage. Its promises of welcoming feedback and ensuring fairness through lengthy public review are a stall. The constitutional principle whereby states are granted control of America’s educational system is thoroughly at odds with the College Board’s efforts to nationalize the curriculum.

To accept the new Framework is to grant legitimacy to an illegitimate enterprise. We urge the Texas State Board of Education to stand fast against the nationalization of American education, and stand in favor of our country’s deep tradition of local control of the schools.”

Earlier today, Breitbart Texas spoke to Cargill about yesterday’s letter from Packer. She said, “While I appreciate the College Board has responded with an action plan, until the wording of key concepts in the framework are changed, the APUSH debate will not go away.”

She added that has she said to College Board President David Coleman “that anything you do, unless you are specifically moving forward on changing the key concepts, is just putting band-aids on the blistering controversy.”

The resolution will be offered at the SBOE meetings September 16-19 in Austin.

Tincy Miller

Sen. Patrick & Rep. Huberty letter to Commissioner Michael Williams / Teaching of Common Core

Dear friends,
Below is an informative letter written by Senator Dan Patrick & Representative Dan Huberty to Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams regarding the teaching of Common Core, (HB 462).
Community Reports
September 10, 2014
Commissioner Michael Williams
Texas Education Agency
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701

Dear Commissioner Williams:
During the last legislative session, the Texas Legislature passed HB 462, which was authored by Representative Dan Huberty in the House of Representatives and sponsored by Senator Dan Patrick in the Senate. We both have had calls into our offices, where parents are concerned that students are being taught lesson plans that are not authorized under the current law, specifically as it relates to the teaching of Common Core. The 83rd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 462 (HB 462), which contains several important prohibitions relating to curriculum standards. The bill:
1. prohibits the State Board of Education (SBOE) from adopting Common Core State Standards;
2. prohibits school districts from using Common Core State Standards to meet the requirements to provide instruction in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS);
3. prohibits a school district or open enrollment charter school from being required to offer the Common Core; and
4. prohibits the Texas Education Agency from adopting or developing assessments based on Common Core State Standards.
Chapter 28 of the Texas Education Code requires the SBOE to develop the essential knowledge and skills that Texas schools are required to teach. Additionally, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) are based entirely on those TEKS developed and adopted by the SBOE.
General Abbott issued an opinion (GA-1067) June 17, 2014, in response to Senator Patrick’s request (RQ-1175-GA) addressing this issue. That opinion states in the summary (emphasis added):
“Texas school districts are required to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels, and pursuant to subsection 28.002(b-3) of the Education Code, they may not use the Common Core State Standards Initiative to comply with this requirement.”
We know you sent out a reminder of this new legislation in November 2013. However, we are concerned that some school districts are either not complying with the law, or not aware that certain “Free” lesson plans that are being used off the Internet by their teachers are violating this statue.
We would ask that you once again remind school districts of the importance of maintaining our State Standards, and not those of the federal government. Please make sure you enforce these standards, it is critical to our student’s success.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Best Regards,
Dan Patrick
Dan Huberty

Tincy Miller

Alert: the College Board’s new AP U.S. History Framework

Dear Friends,
A most important and informative message from
Tincy Miller, State Board of Education member, District 12…

Alert: the College Board’s new AP U.S. History Framework
(a document that dictates how teachers should cover the required history topics with our brightest high school sophomores and juniors)
** It is deficient in a grounding in the lives and character of our founders, in our founding documents and generally in the facts about our country’s development. History teacher expert, Larry Krieger, “The redesigned Framework inculcates a consistently negative view of American history by highlighting oppressors and exploiters while ignoring the dreamers and innovators who built our country.”
** Reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history….with little or no discussion of the Founding Fathers and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
** Excludes discussion of the U.S. military (no battles, commanders, or heroes).
** The Framework presents a biased and inaccurate view of many important events in American history: the motivations and actions of 17th-19th century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the development and victory in the Cold War.
** Omits many significant individuals and events that greatly shaped our nation’s history (for example: James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Tuskegee Airmen, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Holocaust, D-Day, liberation of the Nazi concentration camps…)
** It is really the fight for the soul of America! There is no choice but to fight it, in every way we know how, as hard as we know how! We must alert our Legislators to this attack on our great country… And demand that the APUSH be rewritten in a transparent manner to accurately reflect U.S. history without political bias and to respect the sovereignty of Texas over its education curriculum.

Tincy Miller