Mr. J B Fact Finder

Education

What's Behind the AP Collebe Board Change

From Sandy Rios in the Morning

Interview with Stan Kurtz W/ ethics and public policies Center

July 20, 2015

 

In the past few years, there has been quite an uproar in the teaching and private community over the new standards set in place by the AP College Board for the teaching of history education in our public schools. Many are claiming that the boar is trying to re-write history. The infuses seems to be centered mainly on the mistakes of our past while leaving out all mention of anything positive about America. As one professor from the University of Texas stated, “We are now teaching cynicism about American history”. When we look deeper into what is driving our friends of the AP Board, we soon learn that there is a lot more at stake than just re-writing history. What we find is a grand movement and push towards globalization.

This movement towards history revisionism started in the 1920’s. Today the AP Boards main spokesman is a gentleman named Thomas Bender.  Bender held a series of conferences in Italy on the subject of how to better teach history in schools. They wanted to get out of the U.S. in order to get a better view on how to teach American history. In 2000, when a group of 78 historians under the auspices of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) issued the flagship document of the movement to “internationalize” American history, “The La Pietra Report.” The report authored by Bender takes its name from the Italian villa where the meetings took place, from 1997 to 2000. The La Pietra Report makes much of the fact that those meetings were held outside the United States, and that nearly a third of the scholars working to forge a new U.S. History curriculum were non-Americans. One such scholar, in fact, was Cuban. Francesca Lopez Civeira, of the University of Havana, participated in absentia, sending a paper on American power as “an object of fear” in Cuban historiography. That fit squarely into a central theme of the La Pietra Report, which urges that American students be exposed to evidence of the “controversial power and presence” of the United States beyond our borders, to the point where “one’s native land seems foreign.” In common with Bender’s later work, an interim report on the 1998 La Pietra conference warns that a newly internationalized American history could inadvertently create a new “…American global city on a hill, the new model for a global culture and economy. Bender’s approach to the College Board is to advise on how to teach in a more globalized way, and to denationalize American history. Focus on how intimidating it was dealing with American imperialism, and being focused on American superiority and never on how America has defended the world. This is all taught in subtle way.

. Benders academics are simply questioning the importance and legitimacy of centering on a nation, or America as a nation. The thinking is that nations cause wars, and if we do away with nations, we will have no more wars. (Today’s European Union is a form of globalization.) When Bender talks about Columbus discovering America, He doesn’t state that Columbus discovered America, he states that Columbus discovered the Atlantic world.

With the old methods of learning and teaching history, we relied on document like the settling of New England, Mayflower Compact (democratic process), Constitution, diaries of founding fathers and other.  

With the new AP College approach, they are less focus on documentation and more of a focus on resent history work on the international slave trade as well as focusing on race gender and class instead of democracy & principles of constitution. New method is all centered around slavery and what went on around Barbados and the sugar trade, which they want to tie to the evils about capitalism and Imperialist issues. They don’t talk about the differences of the countries. (England was democratic, and Spain was Autocratic and not as concerned w/ the evils of slavery and were very involved in the slavery around Barbados and the Ceridian). What are left out are American exceptionalisms, the colonies and the building of a nation, it is all treated as an international issue and capitalism, so democracy and religion go’s out the window.

With the new AP standards, teachers no longer have any freedom to teach the way they feel best for their class.  If they stray from the AP curriculum, then the student runs the risk of not being prepared for the college exam and missing the opportunity to attend the college of their choice. If the teacher stick to the AP curriculum, then the student loses the opportunity to learn about other arias of history outside of what the AP is stating must be taught. Either way, the student comes out as the loser in the end.  

The AP approach will end up training students to be hostel to American. As long as the American people believe in the constitution, they cannot win.

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