Today, right now, the unmaking of history is happening at the Utah State Capitol. I just found out now, via email.
So the Utah Legislature’s education committee is meeting now, listening to (among other things) the Utah State Office of Education’s reasoning for adopting the David Coleman-pushed, awful, transformed U.S. History standards for A.P. History. These standards have come under extreme criticism for promoting a negative view of American accomplishments. They deleted the necessity for teachers to even mention –at all– Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Martin Luther King, the Gettysburg Address, Hitler, and much, much more that is crucial to understanding American history. The noble portions of history and vital facts simply won’t be on the test.
It seems truly too bad to be true.
I wish some mom, grandpa, teacher, or professor were there, testifying, as this Texas mother did, that the state must absolutely fight, not adopt, these new history standards!
I wish that Sydnee Dickson, Diana Suddreth, and Robert Austin ( USOE officials responsible for promoting the new history standards) were elected officials –so that we could vote them out. But they are plain state employees, so they stay in, reel in fat taxpayer funded salaries, and they are unstopped by the legislators, parents or administrators who have the power to stop them –if enough would just stand up.
So much is happening, so fast, to transform and deform our educational system now that it feels impossible to keep up with or try to rein in.
We have to try. We have to educate and activate the necessary numbers of citizens to push our elected representatives to say no.
Please write to your representatives and school boards. Let them know that you oppose the transformed AP U.S. History Standards for our schools.
Here is the link to find your Representative: http://www.le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp
Here is the link to find your Senator: http://www.utahsenate.org/#
USA Today published an opinion editorial— today– by Jane Robbins of American Principles Project on this subject. I’m reposting:
AP EXAM ERASES U.S. EXCEPTIONALISM
Defenses of the College Board’s revised Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) Curriculum Framework have ranged from “it’s a balanced document” to “teachers will have flexibility” to “what’s wrong with a leftist slant?” None of these defenses should be acceptable.
To the “balanced document” argument, we say: Read it. A Pioneer Institute study by experts, including renowned Madisonian scholar Ralph Ketcham, describes the framework as “a portrait of America as a dystopian society — one riddled with racism, violence, hypocrisy, greed, imperialism and injustice.”
The origins of the framework have been traced to the philosophy that the U. S. is only one nation among many, and not a particularly admirable one at that. Every trace of American exceptionalism has been scrubbed; seminal documents such as the Gettysburg Address have vanished.
What about teachers’ flexibility? Will APUSH teachers still teach the vital content in their state history standards? Although the College Board (under duress) is erasing its warning that none of this state material will be tested, the practical reality remains that teachers won’t waste time on it.
The exam’s structure will encourage students and teachers to stick to the leftist framework. We’ll have a national history curriculum rather than state flexibility and control.
The College Board’s recent release of the previously secret sample exam confirms this conclusion. All sample questions are anchored firmly in the framework, even the pejorative language used to describe President Reagan. The sample exam makes it clear that if teachers want their students to score well on the APUSH exam, they will teach the framework.
So we’re left with the argument that the APUSH course rightly veers off into progressive territory (diminishing content knowledge in favor of “historical skills” and “themes” and embracing identity politics) because accurate history is disfavored in some university programs. If so, parents will want their children to avoid APUSH. The unelected College Board may decide to impose revisionist history, but its customers need not buy it.
Jane Robbins is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project, a conservative advocacy group.