2 conservative groups are leading the fight against the new AP standards

Historians in the News
tags: APUSH

Lee White is the executive director of the National Coalition for History. 


Two conservative groups, American Principles in Action and Concerned Women for America, are leading the fight against the AP history exam and framework. They recently sent a letter to the College Board asking that implementation of the revisions be postponed. The letter states, “The new Framework continues its theme of oppression and conflict by reinterpreting Manifest Destiny from a belief that America had a mission to spread democracy and new technologies across the continent to something that ‘was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority.’” They are also trying to tie the framework to the ­increasingly ­unpopular Common Core standards in an effort to ensure its demise.

The College Board responded to the criticism by explaining that the framework had been revised in response to demands from educators at the local level wanting greater flexibility in designing their AP courses. The College Board even went so far as to release the fall 2014 practice exam (bit.ly/1pJ8kDo) to allow opponents to see that their criticisms are not borne out by the actual test.

Recently, the National Coalition for History sent a letter to the boards of ­education in eight states (Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Colorado, and Nevada) supporting the efforts of the College Board in trying to make the AP History framework and exam more flexible and reflect developments in scholarship.

The Organization of American Historians, the National Council for History Education, and the AHA have also issued separate statements on the issue. AHA’s statement can be seen here.

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