Historians at loggerheads over the AP standardsHistorians in the News
... On Thursday, The College Board -- under pressure from conservatives -- changed the guidelines for teaching the course.
Students might not notice the changes, but AP U.S. history teachers will. Take lessons on westward expansion.
"In the original version, the focus was almost exclusively on the negative impact of western settlement on Native American populations," said historian Jeremy Stern, who helped The College Board craft the revisions. "Including that is obviously essential, but you also want to talk about the point of view of the settlers themselves."
Like beauty, history may be in the eye of the beholder. And what Seton Hall history professor Williamjames Hull Hoffer sees is downright ugly.
"When you change the story to one of pioneering spirit and economic opportunity, it's not just a change in emphasis, it's a lie," Hoffer said. "The new standards have gone completely wrong."
The College Board changed guidance for teachers about what the final exam will cover. New recommended course topics now include "the American ideals of liberty, citizenship and self-governance" and "the productive role of free enterprise."
"Those are Republican National Committee, presidential, Donald Trump talking points," Hoffer said.
Critics had slammed last year's AP course guidance as unpatriotic. Lawmakers in many states went on a rampage, pushing for changes. ...
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