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Education

College AP Board Revised Framework

With the College Board released of their October 2012 revised framework for the AP history courses,  a backlash, mainly among conservatives , have labeled it unpatriotic and "revisionist."  Critics believe the test is left-leaning and presents a biased view of history. One leader in this fight against the College Board is retired New Jersey high school history teacher Larry Krieger. Krieger has been at the forefront of the fight against the College Board's new framework for over a year.  After Krieger criticizing the framework, the College Board has tried to clarify the instructions for teachers in hopes to calm the critics but Krieger is still not satisfied. In 2014, Krieger, by video, testified before the Colorado state board of education that there is no material mentioning events such as D-Day or key historical characters. “The founders are not discussed, He says, Ben Franklin, not there. James Madison not there”. Larry Krieger is concerned that "the concept of American exceptionalism has been deliberately scrubbed out of this document." He states "People who call themselves liberals haven't really understood what ... American exceptionalism means, and why it is so extremely important that it be taught to our kids," he said. "Because what unites us as a people — we're not united by ethnic differences, religious differences, we're united by our core values." Last year, Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, warned during a speech at the conservative Center for Security Policy: “I think most people, when they finish that course, they’d be ready to go sign up for Isis.”

College Board President David Colemand and APL program head Trevor Packer have both rejected the criticism stating that the AP courses are not a full curriculum but an outline for teachers to design their own lesson plans. That may sound well and good but what is not elaborated on is that the AP board is cramming the framework with so much information that the student must know in order to pass the AP test to help them get into college, there is no room, or time, to look into any topic outside of the AP program. Colemand may call the course an outline, but the outline is the size of a full curriculum. The previous AP framework was also criticized for this same issue and had to be updated after teachers complained that there was too much required teaching to satisfy the AP board, and it did not allow time to look into any particular subject outside of the written framework. The AP board will tell us that you can teach anything we want to teach in your classroom, just as long as we teach all of the required topics listed in the current framework. But, they have made that impossible.

The teachers are now caught in the middle of a catch 22. They can teach strictly along the guide of the AP framework, preparing the student for one test for the sole purpose of getting into college, or they can step a little outside of the framework, look into other topics, and provide a larger and more rounded understanding of our history, thus leaving the student not fully prepared for the AP exam and hurting the students chances of getting into the college of their choice.  Either way, the student comes out as the looser on this deal.

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