Education History

Don’t Mess With Texas History


The imagined slight of an Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum that is “anti-American” has swept the state of Texas and the state Board of Education has taken steps to eliminate it.

From the Associated Press

The Board of Education approved a measure declaring that the history curriculum its members set trumps that covered by the AP history course created for classrooms nationwide. That class concludes with an exam that can earn college credit for students who score high enough.

The board must still take a final vote, but the measure’s content isn’t expected to change.

Critics contend that the revised Advanced Placement curriculum is anti-American because it has narrowed the amount of content students are required to memorize but, rather than omit events that paint America in a less-sympathetic light, it excluded events that are more endearing.

In other words, critics contend that it’s anti-American because it does not whitewash our history.

I’ll ask the same question I have asked about this topic before: why do conservatives want to emulate the educational practices of nations they would call enemies by censoring negative events in our own history?

As the Associated Press points out, actions taken by the state Board of Education could potentially hurt Texas students because they will take the same exam even if they aren’t preparing for it as intended.

In 2013, about 47,500 Texas high school students took the AP History exam, and about 18,600 earned college credit. AP History students this year will still take the new exam, but will prepare for it by studying Texas-sanctioned curriculum.

Conservatives in the state government are setting their students up to fail. Because Advanced Placement U.S History is the stuff of liberals.