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.

R E S O L U T I O N

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;

 

THEREFORE, be it

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

Respectfully,
Tincy Miller
gtince@aol.com
www.tincymiller.com

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

Respectfully,
Tincy Miller
gtince@aol.com
www.tincymiller.com

HERI Survey

AP HISTORY: KEEP IT OR SCRAP IT?

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 skurtz@eppc.org. 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.”

Respectfully,
Tincy Miller
gtince@aol.com
www.tincymiller.com

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

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/09/11/Exclusive-Texas-is-Nations-Last-Best-Chance-to-Block-APUSH-Say-Experts/

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.

Respectfully,
Tincy Miller
gtince@aol.com
www.tincymiller.com

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).

http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=17442
Community Reports
SENT VIA EMAIL
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

Respectfully,
Tincy Miller
gtince@aol.com
www.tincymiller.com

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.

Respectfully,
Tincy Miller
gtince@aol.com
www.tincymiller.com

Biased Statements In the AP U.S. History Redesign

Dear Friends, A most timely and informative article written by Larry Krieger, the founder of InsiderTestPrep, he has taught SAT classes for over 20 years and AP classes for over 35 years. Larry was born and raised in North Carolina. His teaching career began in 1970 at Olympic High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. During the next 35 years Larry taught urban, rural, and suburban students in North Carolina and New Jersey. Larry taught a variety of AP subjects including American History, World History, European History, American Government, and Art History. His popular courses were renowned for their energetic presentations, commitment to scholarship, and dedication to excellence.

29 Biased Statements In the AP U.S. History Redesign george washington The “Open Letter from the Authors of the AP United States History Curriculum Framework” raises a number of important issues. Here is our response to the key points raised in this “Open Letter,” followed by a list of 29 biased and ill-considered statements from the Framework, and a list of 17 omitted seminal documents about U.S. history.

1. Who wrote the College Board’s AP U.S. History (APUSH) Framework?

The nine members of the College Board’s Advanced Placement United States History Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee identify themselves as the authors of the APUSH Curriculum Framework. However, page v of the Framework lists 19 college professors and high school teachers under the heading “Acknowledgments.” There is a significant professional difference between the terms “Acknowledgments” and “Authors.” If the nine signers of the “Open Letter” are indeed authors who wrote the APUSH Framework, the College Board has a responsibility to revise its misleading attribution on page v. In addition, since one other professor who was listed under “Acknowledgments” admitted he didn’t know who actually wrote the Framework, there remains significant confusion about who really created the working drafts that the signers of the Open Letter used.

2. For whom was the APUSH Curriculum Framework written?

The Open Letter authors state that the Framework “was written by and for other AP teachers.” This statement ignores that the Framework prescribes the essential content that will be taught to about 500,000 high school sophomores and juniors. These students are the sons and daughters of parents who have a direct stake in what is being taught to their children. The “by the profession, for the profession” approach endorsed by the Open Letter authors also excludes civic leaders who are not specialists but are deeply concerned about how U.S. history is taught to American high school students. Including people from outside the academic world would have added to the Framework’s credibility and might have saved the document from its egregious problems.

3. Why does the Framework omit key American leaders and seminal documents?

The Open Letter acknowledges that the Framework omits Benjamin Franklin, Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King Jr, and many other key figures in American history. They accuse critics of “misunderstanding our document.” Unfortunately, we have not misunderstood anything; the document is clear. The Framework devotes pages 28 to 80 to a detailed outline of the “required knowledge” students are expected to learn in their AP U.S. History course. The Framework unequivocally states, “Beginning with the May 2015 AP U.S. History Exams, no AP U.S. History Exam questions will require students to know historical content that falls outside this concept outline” (emphasis added). The Framework is a lengthy document that provides more than enough space to include key figures and seminal documents from American history. Neither the College Board nor the Open Letter authors have explained why the Framework does have space to include Chief Little Turtle, the Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Panthers, but does not have space to include Dwight Eisenhower, Jonas Salk, and Martin Luther King Jr. The omissions have been widely criticized. But once again, College Board officials and the Open Letter authors have adamantly refused to revise the Framework or delay its implementation.

4. What will critics find when they examine the AP Practice Exam?

The Open Letter authors invite critics to examine the just-released AP Practice Exam. They contend that reviewers will find “a rich and inclusive body of historic knowledge.” In reality, reviewers will find an exam that tests a surprisingly limited range of topics. Since every exam question is firmly anchored in the Framework, the test does not include questions on Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King Jr, and numerous other historic figures. President Ronald Reagan is the only historic figure who actually generates specific questions. In one question, Reagan’s famous “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” quote is used to reflect “increased assertiveness and bellicosity.” In another question, President Bill Clinton’s ideas on “big government” are associated with ideas expressed by Reagan. It is important to compare the lack of key figures on the Practice Exam with the inclusion of key figures on previous APUSH exams. An analysis of eight released exams revealed seven multiple-choice questions on Thomas Jefferson, five on William Lloyd Garrison, seven on Theodore Roosevelt, four on Dwight Eisenhower, and six on Martin Luther King, Jr. This predictable clustering of questions on key figures and events enabled teachers to efficiently prepare their students for the APUSH exam.

5. Does the Framework provide a balanced coverage of American history?

The Open Letter authors insist that the Framework strikes “a careful balance between teaching factual knowledge and critical analysis.” We believe the APUSH Framework fails to meet the test of providing a balanced curriculum that acknowledges both the nation’s founding principles and its continuing struggles to be faithful to those principles. Here is a list of biased statements taken verbatim from the Framework. In addition, we have added a list of seminal documents omitted by the Framework. Taken together, they provide overwhelming evidence that the College Board Framework seems determined to create a cynical generation of what it calls “apprentice historians.” Is this really what we want our nation’s top students to know about American history:

1. Teachers can explore the roots of the modern environmental movement in the Progressive Era and New Deal, as well as debate the underlying and proximate causes of environmental catastrophes arising from pesticide use and offshore oil drilling. (Pages 12 – 13)

2. Many Europeans developed a belief in white superiority to justify their subjugation of Africans and American Indians, using several different rationales. (Page 34)

3. Unlike Spanish, French, and Dutch colonies, which accepted intermarriage and cross-racial sexual unions with native peoples (and, in Spain’s case, with enslaved Africans), English colonies attracted both males and females who rarely intermarried with either native peoples or Africans, leading to the development of a rigid racial hierarchy. (Page 35)

4. Reinforced by a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority, the British system enslaved black people in perpetuity, altered African gender and kinship relationships in the colonies and was one factor that led the British colonists into violent confrontations with native peoples. (Page 36)

5. The New England colonies, founded primarily by Puritans, seeking to establish a community of like-minded religious believers, developed a close-knit, homogeneous society and – aided by favorable environmental conditions – a thriving mixed economy of agriculture and commerce. (Page 36. Note that this is the Framework’s sole statement about the New England colonies. It omits the Pilgrims, Mayflower Compact, Winthrop’s “City Upon a Hill,” Roger Williams and religious toleration, New England town meetings and the birth of democratic institutions, and much more.)

6. The demographically, religiously, and ethnically diverse middle colonies supported a flourishing export economy based on cereal crops… (Page 36. Note that this is the Framework’s sole statement about the Middle Colonies. It omits William Penn, the Quakers, Pennsylvania policy of religious toleration, and the fact that its economic prosperity attracted a diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups.)

7. The colonies along the southernmost Atlantic coast and the British islands in the West Indies took advantage of long growing seasons by using slave labor to develop economies based on staple crops; in some cases, enslaved Africans constituted the majority of the population. (Page 37. Note that slavery is the sole focus. This omits the House of Burgesses, the Maryland Act of Religious Toleration, and much more.)

8. European colonization efforts in North America stimulated cultural contact and intensified conflict between the various groups of colonizers and native peoples. (Page 37. Note that this “Key Concept” establishes the Framework’s dominant theme that American history is really the story of identity groups and conflicts.)

9. By supplying American Indian allies with deadlier weapons and alcohol, and by rewarding Indian military actions, Europeans helped increase the intensity and destructiveness of American Indian warfare. (Page 38. Note the Europeans are portrayed as destructive predators.)

10. The presence of slavery and the impact of colonial wars stimulated the growth of ideas on race in this Atlantic system, leading to the emergence of racial stereotyping and the development of strict racial categories among British colonists, which contrasted with Spanish and French acceptance of racial gradations. (Page 39)

11. Although George Washington’s Farewell Address warned about the dangers of divisive political parties and permanent foreign alliances… (Page 43. This is the Framework’s sole reference to George Washington.)

12. The colonists’ belief in the superiority of republican self-government based on the natural rights of the people found its clearest American expression in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and in the Declaration of Independence. (Page 43. This is the Framework’s sole reference to the Declaration of Independence. Note that it actually follows Washington’s Farewell Address. Although the Framework stresses the skill of historical causation, the document contains numerous examples of events that are not presented in chronological order.)

13. Teachers have the flexibility to use examples such as the following: corridos, architecture of Spanish missions, vaqueros. (Page 46. Note that the Framework does have space for these topics but cannot find the space to discuss Washington’s career and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.)

14. Many white Americans in the South asserted their regional identity through pride in the institution of slavery, insisting that the federal government should defend their institution. (Page 49)

15. Resistance to initiatives for democracy and inclusion included proslavery arguments, rising xenophobia, antiblack sentiments in political and popular culture, and restrictive anti-Indian policies. (Page 49. Note that the Framework omits both Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy. This biased statement reinforces the Framework’s consistently negative portrayal of the American experience.)

16. The U.S. sought dominance over the North American continent through a variety of means, including military actions, judicial decisions, and diplomatic efforts. (Page 52. This is how the Framework describes the Monroe Doctrine and the annexation of Texas.)

17. The idea of Manifest Destiny, which asserted U.S. power in the Western Hemisphere and supported U.S. expansion westward, was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority, and helped to shape the era’s political debates. (Page 54. Note that generations of American students have been taught that Manifest Destiny expressed America’s mission to spread its democratic institutions and technology across the continent. This revisionist definition clearly expresses the Framework’s negative biases.)

18. States’ rights, nullification, and racist stereotyping provided the foundation for the Southern defense of slavery as a positive good. (Page 56)

19. Lincoln’s election on a free soil platform … Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. (Page 57. These are the Framework’s sole references to President Lincoln. Note that the Framework omits Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.)

20. Business interests battled conservationists as the latter sought to protect sections of unspoiled wilderness through the establishment of national parks and other conservationist and preservationist measures. (Page 62. Note the one-sided portrayal of “business interests.”)

21. As transcontinental railroads were completed, bringing more settlers west, U.S. military actions, the destruction of the buffalo, the confinement of American Indians to reservations, and assimilationist policies reduced the number of American Indians and threatened native culture and identity. (Page 63. The construction of the transcontinental railroads was a major American achievement. Note that it is portrayed in an entirely negative light.)

22. A number of critics challenged the dominant corporate ethic in the United States and sometimes capitalism itself, offering alternate visions of the good society through utopianism and the Social Gospel. (Page 64. Note the Framework’s consistently negative portrayal of capitalism.)

23. Although the American Expeditionary Force played a relatively limited role in the war… (Page 69. This is how the Framework describes America’s contribution to the Allied cause in World War I.)

24. The mass mobilization of American society to supply troops for the war effort and a workforce on the home front ended the Great Depression and provided opportunities for women and minorities to improve their socioeconomic positions. Wartime experiences, such as the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values. (Page 70. Note that that the Framework’s complete coverage of World War II is contained in these two sentences. The Framework completely omits all mention of American military commanders, battles, and the valor of our servicemen and women who ended the long night of Nazi oppression. Also note that the Framework completely omits the Holocaust.)

25. The United States sought to “contain” Soviet-dominated communism through a variety of measures, including military engagements in Korea and Vietnam. (Page 71. Note that the Framework covers both the Korean War and the Vietnam War in one sentence.)

26. Activists began to question society’s assumptions about gender and to call for social and economic equality for women and for gays and lesbians. (Page 73)

27. Teachers have the flexibility to use examples such as the following: Students for a Democratic Society, Black Panthers. (Page 74. Note that the Framework omits Rosa Parks and Dr. King, but does have room for the SDS and the Black Panthers.)

28. President Ronald Reagan, who initially rejected détente with increased defense spending, military action, and bellicose rhetoric, later developed a friendly relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, leading to significant arms reductions by both countries. (Page 78. Note that this is the Framework’s simplistic explanation for how and why the Cold War ended.)

29. Demographic changes intensified debates about gender roles, family structures, and racial and national identity. (Page 80. Note that this is the Framework’s concluding statement. The College Board authors then state that teachers have the flexibility to use examples such as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” debate.)

OMITTED SEMINAL DOCUMENTS

1. The Mayflower Compact
2. The Northwest Ordinance
3. Federalist Paper Number 10
4. Frederick Douglass’s Independence Day speech at Rochester
5. Excerpts from the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, and other
6. Transcendentalist writers
7. Alexis de Tocqueville—excerpts from Democracy in America
8. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address
9. Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus”
10. Woodrow Wilson, “Peace Without Victory” speech
11. Theodore Roosevelt, “The New Nationalism” speech
12. Excerpts from Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath describing the Dust Bowl
13. Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The Four Freedoms” speech
14. Harry S. Truman, “The Truman Doctrine” speech
15. George Kennan, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”
16. John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address
17. Dr. King, “I Have a Dream” speech and Letter from Birmingham City Jail
18. Lyndon B. Johnson, speech to Congress on Voting Rights

6. Will the Open Letter mark the end of the controversy over the APUSH Framework?

The Open Letter authors conclude by hoping that their statement will mark the “end of this controversy.” Unfortunately, their Open Letter fails to fully and forthrightly address central issues raised by the APUSH Framework. A growing chorus of critics justifiably believes that the Framework does not engage students with “the major individuals, developments, and ideas that have guided our nation through its history.” We believe that achieving this goal will require the College Board to restore the previous APUSH course for at least a year. This will give a new and more inclusive committee an opportunity to create a truly balanced APUSH curriculum that reflects America’s guiding principles and traditions.

Respectfully,
Tincy Miller SBOE, District 12

Truth in American Education RNC Passes Resolutions on APUSH

Dear Friends,

The Republican National Committee passed two resolutions concerning education
during their summer meeting. The first deals with the rewrite of the AP U.S. History Framework (APUSH). This was sponsored by Tamara Scott, National Committeewoman from Iowa, and was written with the help of Jane Robbins from American Principles Project. It had six co-sponsors and passed unanimously.

Truth in American Education
RNC Passes Resolutions on APUSH
Changes & Stop Common Core Victories

Resolution Demanding Implementation Delay, and Rewrite, of AP U.S. History Framework
WHEREAS, almost 500,000 U. S. students take the College Board’s Advanced Placement U. S. History (APUSH) course each year; and
WHEREAS, the APUSH course has traditionally been designed to present a balanced view of American history and to prepare students for college-level history courses; and
WHEREAS, the College Board (a private organization unaccountable to the public) has recently released a new Framework for the APUSH course; and
WHEREAS, the new APUSH Framework reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects; and
WHEREAS, the Framework includes little or no discussion of the Founding Fathers, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the religious influences on our nation’s history, and many other critical topics that have always been part of the APUSH course; and
WHEREAS, the Framework excludes discussion of the U. S. military (no battles, commanders, or heroes) and omits many other individuals and events that greatly shaped our nation’s history (for example, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Tuskegee Airmen, the Holocaust); and
WHEREAS, the Framework presents a biased and inaccurate view of many important events in American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the development of and victory in the Cold War; and
WHEREAS, the Framework describes its detailed requirements as “required knowledge” for APUSH students, and the College Board admits that the APUSH examination will not test information outside this “required knowledge”; and
WHEREAS, because the Framework differs radically from almost all state history standards, so that APUSH teachers will have to ignore their state standards to prepare students for the AP examination, the Framework will essentially usurp almost all state history standards for the best and brightest history students; and
WHEREAS, the College Board is not making its sample examination available for public review, thus maintaining secrecy about what U. S. students are actually being tested on;
RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee strongly recommends that the College Board delay the implementation of the new APUSH Framework for at least a year, and that during that time a committee be convened to draft an APUSH Framework that is consistent both with the APUSH course’s traditional mission, with state history standards, and with the desires of U. S. parents and other citizens for their students to learn the true history of their country; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee requests that state legislatures and the U. S. Congress investigate this matter; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee request that Congress withhold any federal funding to the College Board (a private non-governmental organization) until the APUSH course and examination have been rewritten in a transparent manner to accurately reflect U. S. history without a political bias and to respect the sovereignty of state standards, and until sample examinations are made available to educators, state and local officials, and the public, as has long been the established practice; and be it
FINALLY RESOLVED, that upon the approval of this resolution the Republican National Committee shall promptly deliver a copy of this resolution to every Republican member of Congress, all Republican candidates for Congress, and to each Republican state and territorial party office.
Respectfully submitted by:
Tamara R. Scott
National Committeewoman for Iowa

The second resolution commend parent activists on Anti-Common Core victories. It was sponsored by Ellen Barrosse, National Committeewoman from Delaware, had several sponsors and passed unanimously.
Resolution Commending Parent Activists on Anti-Common-Core Victories
Whereas, Activist parents in five states, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and North Carolina, realized that their children’s education curricula had been “dumbed down” by implementation of the Common Core State Standards;
Whereas, These grass-roots activist parents lobbied their state legislatures and fought the political establishments to slow down or stop the implementation of the Common Core State Standards;
Whereas, At great sacrifice to themselves, and despite the huge funding advantage of those backing the standards, these parents were successful in rolling back the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in their home states; and
Whereas, Parents in other states are embroiled in the same David vs. Goliath fight to resist the federalization of education via the Common Core State Standards; therefore be it
Resolved, The Republican National Committee commends the work of the mothers, fathers, and other citizens who fought or are fighting to persuade their state executive and legislative branches to faithfully and fully resist federal intrusion into education policy-making, particularly via the Common Core State Standards.
Primary Sponsor:
Ellen Barrosse, RNCW, DE

Respectfully,

Tincy Miller
SBOE, District 12

Making Math Education Even Worse

Dear Friends,
An informative and timely article from the Wall Street Journal written by Marina Ratner a professor emerita of mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley. She was awarded the international Ostrowski Prize in 1993 and received the John J. Carty Award from the National Academy of Sciences, of which she is a member, in 1994.
Making Math Education Even Worse

I first encountered the Common Core State Standards last fall, when my grandson started sixth grade in a public middle school here in Berkeley, Calif. This was the first year that the Berkeley school district began to implement the standards, and I had heard that a considerable amount of money had been given to states for implementing them. As a mathematician I was intrigued, thinking that there must be something really special about the Common Core. Otherwise, why not adopt the curriculum and the excellent textbooks of highly achieving countries in math instead of putting millions of dollars into creating something new?

“American students are already struggling against the competition. The Common Core won’t help them succeed.”

Reading about the new math standards – outlining what students should be able to learn and understand by each grade – I found hardly any academic mathematicians who could say the standards were higher than the old California standards, which were among the nation’s best. I learned that at the 2010 annual conference of mathematics societies, Bill McCallum, a leading writer of Common Core math standards, said that the new standards “would not be too high” in comparison with other nations where math education excels. Jason Zimba, another lead writer of the mathematics standards, told the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that the new standards wouldn’t prepare students for colleges to which “most parents aspire” to send their children.
I also read that the Common Core offers “fewer standards” but “deeper” and “more rigorous” understanding of math. That there were “fewer standards” became obvious when I saw that they were vastly inferior to the old California standards in rigor, depth and the scope of topics. Many topics – for instance, calculus and pre-calculus, about half of algebra II and parts of geometry – were taken out and many were moved to higher grades.
As a result, the Common Core standards were several years behind the old standards, especially in higher grades. It became clear that the new standards represent lower expectations and that students taught in the way that these standards require would have little chance of being admitted to even an average college and would certainly struggle if they did get in.
It remained to be seen whether the Common Core was “deeper” and “more rigorous.” The Berkeley school district’s curriculum for sixth-grade math was an exact copy of the Common Core State Standards for the grade. The teacher in my grandson’s class went through special Common Core training courses.
As his assigned homework and tests indicate, when teaching fractions, the teacher required that students draw pictures of everything: of 6 divided by 8, of 4 divided by 2/7, of 0.8 x 0.4, and so forth. In doing so, the teacher followed the instructions: “interpret and compute quotients of fractions, and solve word problems involving division of fractions by fractions, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem. For example, create a story context for 2/3 divided by 3/4 and use a visual fraction model to show the quotient…”
Who would draw a picture to divide 2/3 by 3/4?
This requirement of visual models and creating stories is all over the Common Core. The students were constantly told to draw models to answer trivial questions, such as finding 20% of 80 or finding the time for a car to drive 10 miles if it drives 4 miles in 10 minutes, or finding the number of benches one can make from 48 feet of wood if each bench requires 6 feet. A student who gives the correct answer right away (as one should) and doesn’t draw anything loses points.
Here are some more examples of the Common Core’s convoluted and meaningless manipulations of simple concepts: “draw a series of tape diagrams to represent (12 divided by 3) x 3=12, or: rewrite (30 divided by 5) = 6 as a subtraction expression.”
This model-drawing mania went on in my grandson’s class for the entire year, leaving no time to cover geometry and other important topics. While model drawing might occasionally be useful, mathematics is not about visual models and “real world” stories. It became clear to me that the Common Core’s “deeper” and “more rigorous” standards mean replacing math with some kind of illustrative counting saturated with pictures, diagrams and elaborate word problems. Simple concepts are made artificially intricate and complex with the pretense of being deeper – while the actual content taught was primitive.
Yet the most astounding statement I have read is the claim that Common Core standards are “internationally benchmarked.” They are not. The Common Core fails any comparison with the standards of high-achieving countries, just as they fail compared to the old California standards. They are lower in the total scope of learned material, in the depth and rigor of the treatment of mathematical subjects, and in the delayed and often inconsistent and incoherent introductions of mathematical concepts and skills.
For California, the adoption of the Common Core standards represents a huge step backward which puts an end to its hard-won standing as having the top math standards in the nation. The Common Core standards will move the U.S. even closer to the bottom in international ranking.
The teaching of math in many schools needs improvement. Yet the enormous amount of money invested in Common Core – $15.8 billion nationally, according to a 2012 estimate by the Pioneer Institute – could have been used instead to address the real problems in education, such as helping teachers to teach better, raising the performance standards in schools and making learning more challenging.

Respectfully,

Tincy Miller
SBOE District 12

Study: New High School History Proposal Teaches Hatred for U.S.

Dear Friends,

A most timely and informative article by Jim Windham, retired banker and Chairman of Texas Institute for Education Reform

Study: New High School History Proposal Teaches Hatred for U.S.
Previously I have commented on the announcement by David Coleman of the College Board of the new SAT to be released in 2016, without much good to say about the so-called “improvements” that supposedly are designed to better reflect what students have actually studied in high school, but appear to be simply more “dumbing down” of standards.

Now comes the release of the Board’s new AP U.S. History Framework, a document that dictates how teachers should cover the required history topics with America’s brightest high school sophomores and juniors. In a comprehensive analysis entitled “The College Board’s Attack on American History,” Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project and retired U.S. history teacher Larry Krieger pull back the covers of this Framework to find that it is woefully 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. Instead, according to the analysis, “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.” In addition, and maybe even worse, beyond the leftist slant, Robbins and Krieger write that the new Framework reflects “the general view that academic historical knowledge is unnecessary.” G.K. Chesterton wrote: “Properly understood, history is a chronological map that shows us not only where we have come from but also where we are, and how we got here….[H]istory can also be a prophet….This, however, is only true if the chronological map is accurate. If it has been drawn by those with prejudiced perceptions or a prejudiced agenda it will only succeed in getting us lost. There are few things more dangerous than an inaccurate map, especially if we find ourselves in perilous terrain.”

For those who wonder where this kind of thing comes from that pollutes far too many of our public school classrooms and our so-called elite institutions of higher education, it primarily comes from the institutions held responsible for professionally training our teachers and with organizations like the College Board that should represent the gold standard for the criteria of the curriculum. As renowned classics professor Donald Kagan recently said in response to a related question, “the barbarians are not at the gates, they run the place….[T]here is no choice but to fight it, to fight it every way you know how as hard as you know how.”

Respectfully,

Tincy Miller
SBOE, District 12