Behind the Headline: Oklahoma May Scrap AP History For Focusing On America’s ‘Bad Parts’

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Oklahoma May Scrap AP History For Focusing On America’s ‘Bad Parts’
2/18/15 | NPR

Behind the Headline
The Challenges of A.P. History: Are You Sure You Want College Credit?
9/11/2014 | Education Next blog

The Oklahoma legislature is considering a bill that would end AP courses in U.S. history in the state.  The College Board changed the curriculum for the course this year and some legislators in Oklahoma are concerned that students who take the Advanced Placement course will have “major gaps in their knowledge and possibly a jaded perspective about the country.”

In a blog entry, Chester E. Finn, Jr. explains that the new A.P. U.S. history curriculum has its roots in how introductory courses in U.S. history are taught in U.S. colleges and university. He continues

Securing any sort of postsecondary credit for academic work done in high school means that the College Board (and anyone else devising “early college” strategies) must produce courses that resemble those that the students would otherwise take in college. Which means the content of such courses will be driven primarily by what college professors presently teach in their own lecture halls and seminar rooms. Which in turn means that every philosophical, pedagogical, and political fad to overwhelm the faculties of today’s post-modern campuses will creep into the courses taught to sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds before they even matriculate.

Finn concludes, “the proper work of watchdogs and critics going forward is to press for proper history to be taught in the colleges themselves.”

-Education Next

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