Via the Daily Caller, the other side of the story few have heard:
The sentiment, to say the least, is that critics of APUSH simply want history classes to be right-wing patriotic propaganda, devoid of anything negative and promoting a saccharine image of the country’s history.
The truth is, as usual, somewhat more nuanced.
APUSH critics aren’t demanding that American history be whitewashed, or that classes reflect conservative political ideology. In fact, for the most part, they’re just asking for the return of the old APUSH course framework and test, which existed until this year before being displaced by a brand new framework.
That framework, they argued, was more balanced, more rigorous, and less prescriptive in how individual material should be covered.
Jane Robbins, a senior fellow with the American Principles Project and one of the most vocal critics of the new APUSH test, spoke with The Daily Caller News Foundation to clarify the flaws that she sees at the heart of the new exam.
The problem, Robbins says, isn’t that the new APUSH covers slavery, Japanese internment, or any other bad aspects of American history. The previous APUSH exam covered the same things, and raised no major objections. Rather, she said, the core problem is one of overall tone and how subject matter is framed.
That is, American history primarily through the lens of oppressed minorities.
“[The narrative is] there are a couple of bright spots, but generally our history is one long depressing story of identity groups in conflict,” Robbins said. ”Everything shall be looked at through gender, class, race.”
The previous AP framework, which few have complained about, also gave time to identity group issues. Courses were expected to cover 12 themes such as “economic transformations” and “war and diplomacy.” One such theme was “American diversity,” which intended for students to learn about the ”roles of race, class, ethnicity, and gender in the history of the United States.”
In contrast, the new APUSH covers only seven core themes. While one of those themes is explicitly on “identity,” issues of race, gender, and class pop up in the other six as well. This focus, Robbins argues, encourages a narrative of American history that leads to a heavy focus on group conflict and resulting oppression, while de-emphasizing more positive parts of history.
“It’s all forces of history,” she said. “Nothing on what we see as the great things of our history.”
The emphasis on identity, she said, also reflects a subtle leftward tilt in the standards that did not exist before.Like the man said, read the whole thing.