Friday, August 28, 2015

Revised AP history curriculum is racist to the core

According to the revisions, "there was a debate among European leaders about how non-Europeans should be treated." Wow! What an interesting debate. I wonder who won?
I just finished reading the "revised" AP U.S. History framework which is supposed to offer top high school students a more "evenhanded" understanding of our nation's past. But the revisions amount to little more than a cover-up and an excuse for slavery, the slaughter of Native Americans, colonialism and the white supremacist ideology that justified it.

Here are two examples of the latest revisions from EdWeek:

Slavery and the European Settlements 

2014 Version:
“Many Europeans developed a belief in white superiority to justify their subjugation of Africans and American Indians, using several different rationales.”
2015 Version:
 There was debate among European leaders “about how non-Europeans should be treated, as well as evolving religious, cultural, and racial justifications for the subjugation of Africans and Native Americans.”
Manifest Destiny meant "looking for natural and mineral resources".
Manifest Destiny

2014 Version:
“The idea of Manifest Destiny, which asserted U.S. power in the Western Hemisphere and supported US expansion westward, was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority, and helped to shape the era’s political debates.”
2015 Version:
The movement west was due to “the desire for access to natural and mineral resources and the hope of many settlers for economic opportunities or religious refuge.” Advocates of annexing lands “argued that Manifest Destiny and the superiority of American institutions compelled the United States to expand its borders westward to the Pacific Ocean.”
The heart of the problem lies in the way we teach history to high schoolers. Instead of engaging them in real research of literature and artifacts, whole periods of history like the World War I or Vietnam are neatly packaged in a few paragraphs inside a textbook page. There's a right answer on the A.P. test which is a gate keeper to college credit and entrance.

It seems that the powerful College Board has bent to right-wing political pressure and has become little more than a propaganda machine for right-wing pols, think tanks and conservative academic departments. One can only imagine what the "right" answers are on the revised U.S. History exam.

I feel sorry for the teachers that are forced to teach this crap.

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