This week, the Oklahoma legislature approved a bill that subsequently ends funding for the AP U.S. History course. While the initial bill banned the course completely, after a wake of disapproval from the country, Rep. Dan Fisher plans to submit a new bill simply proposing a review of the course. Proponents of this bill and those who spearheaded the initial campaign believe that the class promotes the history of the United States as a “negative” view of “oppressors and exploiters,” only focusing on what is bad about America. Many are frustrated that the AP U.S. History course is liberally focused and centers on the “blemishes” of history. Responding to this claim, one Washington Post article argues that the course should teach controversy instead of deleting critical parts of history. To assert that the class is not positive enough is comparable to taking one side of a very complex argument; people in history have made mistakes and others have had great victories, why should only one half of these lessons be taught to the next generation?
Another Washington Post article brings up the argument certain legislators have made about the “tyrannical” power of the federal government over the states, but AP and IB tests are managed by independent nonprofits and not overseen by the federal government. Eliminating this course will prevent students from obtaining college credits received from scoring well on this test, which can negatively impact the future of many. Legislators cite the actual class as the only factor or the issue, but fail to note the impact on the students; while they mention the problems with the course as a bad picture of the country, the argument does not include how this change will affect the students for their futures.
Do you believe that only the state of Oklahoma should be involved in the resolution of this controversy, or think that the public should be included in this impactful decision, as it is run by an independent company and not the government?
As many of us took this course last year, do you believe the claims made that the test and course are too negative and need to be changed, or should the class/test remain intact as is? Any alternative suggestions?