Oklahoma is the first of several states that are considering banning the Advanced Placement U.S. History class taught at the junior level in high schools across the country because of the supposed negative presentation of much of the material. Indeed, OK is even considering now banning all AP coursework under the same guidelines that they blocked the Common Core, which is so incredibly short-sighted even by normal ‘Murican standards that it makes my head hurt.
Americans should learn about the reality of their history, as much as possible, and the groundwork for that should be laid when they are teenagers – old enough to understand that the world can be awful, young enough to still question why. Candy-coating documented facts to stop your most intelligent students from questioning our way of life is totalitarianism. And it seems to me if you are a red-blooded, patriotic ‘Murican, you’d want your children to learn all the awful things that those in control in our country have done so that history doesn’t repeat itself. If you want to be a true “watchdog” for freedom, then you need to know how little of it has actually ever existed. And it’s not that our history as a nation is completely negative, but it is far easier to have a class discussion around a controversial topic, and, as I’ve said before on this blog, it is a whole lot easier to fix societal problems when you actually know that problems exist.
I took every AP course that interested me in high school, and where it differs from Common Core is that the exam is not mandatory for passing the course. It is merely the opportunity at the end of the class to score high enough for college credit. So teachers used past exams at the end of every chapter to get us used to the format, but it wasn’t the focus. Instead, the focus was on discussions and writing essays that involved drawing our own conclusions from the information learned. It was truly college level work at the high school level. And I hate the thought of states taking that away from their students.