Kathryn Lindsay
August 01, 2015 8:11 am

I know that last thing you want to hear about right now, as summer winds down, is school, but there’s some info that you need to know — specifically, about your AP U.S. History class. After complaints from conservative groups that the 2014 College Board redesign of the course was not patriotic enough, the 2015 framework has been reworked to include a section called “American exceptionalism.”

This section will focus on the more positive aspects of American history, with emphasis on leadership and respect for authority. However, this hasn’t been a unanimous decision. Students and teachers have walked out in protest, with Conifer High School teachers issuing a statement that accuses the new framework of requiring teachers to “completely ignore certain aspects of American history rather than teach the entirety of American history.”

But the Republican National Committee believes that the 2014 course promoted “a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.” So the College Board made some changes.

College Board has proposed a new version of the curriculum with more focus on “American national identity and unity.” In terms of specifics, the negative aspects of America’s history are just showing up less in the text, with mentions of slavery dropping down from 69 times to 62.

This may sound super regimented, but when it comes to any curriculum, Geri Hastings, a teacher at Catonsville High School in Catonsville, Maryland, says it’s not a script:

What’s important is that you’re learning as effectively as possible, so no matter what happens, keep being the best student you can be!

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