UPDATES SENATE REPORT
UPDATES SENATE REPORT
COLLEGE BOARD'S REDESIGN OF AP U.S. HISTORY
The redesign of the AP United States History Curriculum Framework (APUSH), implemented this fall in Georgia classrooms, has set off alarms among those who have great respect for our Founders and for the Judeo Chrisitian heritage of our nation.
The Republican National Committee condemned the new Framework in a resolution, noting that the new APUSH rewrite reflected "a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation's history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects." The resolution mirrors the concerns of American Principles Project and Concerned Women for America, the two organizations that originally urged the College Board to delay the implementation of the new APUSH Framework and for a new committee to be convened to redraft the Framework in a way that is "consistent both with the APUSH course's traditional mission, with state history standards, and with the desires of U.S. parents and other citizens for their students to learn the true history of their country."
What is so worrisome about APUSH is that America's best and brightest students would be immersed in a distorted view of American history. Secondly, the College Board is a corporation that is paid with taxpayer money, both federal and state, for providing its courses, tests, and teacher training. Yet, nationwide, very few teachers, even fewer parents, practically no legislators, and not one state school board have had any input on the new Framework. This amounts to an end-run around taxpayer control of public education in general and U.S. History standards in particular. Sound familiar?
David Coleman (yes, that David Coleman who is the recognized architect of the Common Core), who is now the head of the College Board, is feeling the renewed fury of parents and educators over this latest top-down redesign of public school curriculum. In response to the outcry, he has released the sample AP history test to the public. In addition, he promises that the College Board will issue "clarifications" about the new Framework.
Coleman attempts to minimize the radical changes to APUSH by assuring teachers and parents that "the new Framework does not remove people or events that have been taught by AP teachers in prior years.
Yet, Larry Krieger, the original whistleblower on the new APUSH Framework, counters, "Unfortunately, facts are stubborn things. The redesigned Framework omits Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Dorothea Dix, William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Jonas Salk, Rosa Parks, Dwight Eisenhower, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other notable American heroes. And unlike the previous APUSH five-page Topic Outline, the new Framework does not rely on state history standards to fill in the content. Rather, it makes it clear that students will be required to know only the material contained within the Framework itself. So a student will not have to learn anything about any of these individuals to do well on the AP Exam."
What has been so dramatic, too, has been the expansion of what was once a true outline of five pages, to a full-blown curriculum framework of 98 pages. Krieger notes that this fact alone "makes it even more significant and troubling that so many American heroes have been excluded. We call upon Mr. Coleman to explain why the anonymous authors of the redesigned Framework had space for Chief Little Turtle but not for Dwight Eisenhower, or why they had room for the Black Panthers but not for Dr. King."
It is not only important people, but historic events have also been omitted, such as the Holocaust. Complicating matters, the Framework presents a biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the conduct of and victory in the Cold War.
In an attempt to salvage the Framework by releasing the Sample Test, Coleman points out that "the exam opens with an excerpt from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. On this college-level exam, students will need to not only analyze George Washington's 'Farewell Address' with care, but also articulate the influence of Washington's words on American foreign policy in the 20th century."
Krieger, however, will have none of the spin that comes so easily to the Common Core architect. Krieger points out the following context of the questions and answers.
"The Sample Test does open with an excerpt from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin," stated Krieger. "However, the excerpt describes Franklin’s impression of a sermon delivered by George Whitefield. Neither the excerpt nor the three following multiple-choice questions have anything to do with Franklin’s life and achievements. Thus, a student could know the answer to the question without ever having heard of Benjamin Franklin."
Apparently, the same pattern holds for George Washington's Farewell Address. "The Sample Exam does contain an excerpt from Washington’s Farewell Address that generates four multiple-choice questions," Krieger explained. "The questions do not require students to articulate the influence of Washington’s words on American foreign policy in the 20th century. The multiple-choice question that Mr. Coleman refers to (Question 33) simply asks students to know that World War II marked the time when Washington’s Address ceased to influence American foreign policy. This also marked the only time that World War II appears on the Exam."
Whistleblower Larry Krieger deserves not only our thanks and respect, he deserves to have all of us following his lead. In this battle to restore public education to its rightful owners, meaning the people who pay the taxes and the parents with children in public schools, this latest battle front is one that has hit a raw nerve in those who care about the survival of the land of the free and the home of the brave.
American citizens instinctively know that when the true history of our nation is not taught with integrity to the next generation, our youth will have no understanding of their birthright of liberty and no knowledge of how to sustain the principles that maintain their freedoms. Citizens should tolerate no more excuses from their elected officials and appointed Board members who themselves appear to be losing sight of what it means to respect the people's right of self-government. For more information, visit CWA at cwfa.org/resources-new-ap-anti-u-s-history-curriculum-framework.
TOWN HALLS PLANNED
Sen. William Ligon and area House Representatives are planning Town Hall meetings for December and early January. Mark your calendars.
Monday, Jan. 5, 2015
Darien Outlet Mall
Suite 205 (next to Morning Star Thrift Store)
Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015
Old City Hall
1229 Newcastle Street
SEN. LIGON SPEAKS AT FEDERALISM FORUM IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
Sen. William Ligon kicked off the Federalism Forum at Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett, NH on Saturday, November 22, 2014. The event, sponsored by Breitbart News, American Principles Project (APP), and Cornerstone Action addressed federal overreach in areas such as health care, land use, education, and other sectors.
In his efforts against Common Core, Sen. Ligon has recognized that the constitutional structure of federalism has broken down to the point that national agendas backed by Washington bureaucrats are constantly eroding the proper functions of the states. Sen. Ligon's remarks covered the historical context of federalism, the political philosophy of the Founders, the constitutional concerns Anti-Federalists pointed out which are today's problems,and some potential solutions to strengthen federalism so that it can carry out its original purpose of protecting the sovereign will and liberties of the people.
To see his Op Ed on federalism which appeared on Brietbart.com, visit the Issues page on federalism.
SHORT TIME REMAINING TO COMMENT ON COMMON CORE REVISIONS
The Georgia Department of Education announced last month that citizens can visit the following link to review the proposed revisions to Common Core math and English language arts standards. This 60-day review and comment period ends on January 10, 2014.
After opening the link, open the revised standards documents for both English language arts and mathematics. Review carefully both the current standards (left column) and the proposed standards (right column). However, keep in mind that you are only comparing Common Core standards with the revised Common Core standards. If you wish to compare with better standards in order to provide more extensive comments, my office could make those available to you. In addition, you may simply want to comment on standards that you believe should be taught earlier or later or that you notice are totally missing or that you think are unclear.
Once you have examined the standards and taken notes on what you intend to highlight in your comments, then click on the survey links to submit recommended changes to either or both the current standards and any of the recommended proposed standards.
This process of commenting on the standards in a meaningful way will take focus and time. For parents, although you may know exactly what is of concern to you in the math homework your child brings home or the English assignments you see, it may not be easy to identify which standards are causing the problems. If that is the case, express this in your comments and consider sending additional information in a letter to the State School Board Chair, Helen Rice, with an extra copy going to the new State School Superintendent Richard Woods. Reference your online comments in your letter.
Georgia Department of Education
205 Jesse Hill, Jr. Dr., SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
If sending email, those can be sent to the Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org and to the Superintendent at email@example.com. Just remember, even if sending email or a letter, your original comment should still be posted online and should also reference your additional communication that you are sending.
SOCIAL STUDIES RESOURCES
Also, comments on social studies resource materials can be made until January 8, 2015 at:
GEORGIA STATE SENATOR