A legislative committee in Oklahoma voted 11-4 to ban Advanced Placement US History (APUSH) because it teaches high school students “what is bad about America,” ThinkProgress reported. Another group of legislators is seeking a court ruling that would basically be teaching any and all AP courses in public schools.
State Rep. Dan Fisher (R) has written “emergency” legislation that prohibits “the expenditure of funds on the [APUSH] course.” Fisher is a member of the “Black Robe Regiment” that, according to its website, believes that “the church and God himself has been under assault, marginalized, and diminished by the progressives and secularists,” and of course wants to end the Constitutionally-protected separation of Church and State.
Fisher’s plan would base the entire state’s US history curriculum on 58 documents, which include, of course, the Ten Commandments, two sermons, three speeches by Ronald Reagan, one from George W. Bush, and nothing from any Democratic president since Lyndon B. Johnson.
Parroting the same argument that states like Colorado and Texas have used to also attempt to get rid of APUSH, Fisher argued that the course doesn’t teach “American exceptionalism.” In other words, a white Christian man doesn’t like that APUSH points out that America’s leaders, who have also been predominantly white and Christian, have done some pretty messed up stuff throughout the country’s history. He literally wants to whitewash history.
State Rep. Sally Kern (R) went a step farther and made the statement that “AP courses violate the legislation approved last year that repealed Common Core,” according to ThinkProgress. She said that “AP courses are similar to Common Core, in that they could be constructed as an attempt to impose a national curriculum on American schools.”
The problem with Kern’s argument is that no one requires students to take AP courses. Only the brightest of students attempt them, and if they can not only pass the course but get a certain score on an end-of-course test, they earn college credit. AP courses allow students to save money all while entering college with a head start.
Apparently the Oklahoma House, and really the GOP in general, think that dumbing down and erasing history is what makes America “exceptional.” Somehow giving our kids less than the very best education we can give them (which is actually already weak when compared to 35 other countries in the world) is the way to make America great.