After attempts to remove evolution and climate change from public school science curriculums proved largely unsuccessful, the GOP has now set its sights on America’s history classrooms.
Earlier this week, Education Week reported that the Republican National Committee (RNC) had adopted a resolution concerning the College Board’s new framework for Advanced Placement US History (APUSH), saying the course “reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.”
Among the other complaints the RNC had with the course were that it “includes little to no discussion of the Founding Fathers, the principles of the Declaration of the Independence, [or] the religious influences on our nations history.” The GOP also said APUSH now “presents a biased and inaccurate view of … the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the development of and victory in the Cold War.”
American Principles in Action and Concerned Women for America, two conservative organizations, sent an open letter to the College Board criticizing its APUSH framework and requesting that its implementation be delayed by at least a year to draw up new plans.
The letter said,
“Instead of striving to build a ‘City upon a Hill,’ as generations of students have been taught, the colonists are portrayed as bigots who developed ‘a rigid racial hierarchy’ that was in turn derived from ‘a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority’…
The new Framework [reinterprets] Manifest Destiny from a belief that America had a mission to spread democracy and new technologies across the continent to something that ‘was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority’…
[T]he Framework focuses solely on the negative aspects of America’s involvement in the war: ‘the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values.’”
The RNC wants the country’s brightest students to get a white-washed, watered down version of US History instead of being taught to examine and understand the complexities of the events that shape our past. America’s history hasn’t always been positive, and to teach a class that only focuses on the things we’ve done right is to teach a class that is untruthful.
The GOP hates this version of APUSH simply because it exposes our nation’s problems, many of which were caused by rich, white men. Allowing children to question the past means, as voters, they will be more likely to question the present — something Republicans are desperately trying to keep from happening.