The College Board is Pushing High School US History as Far-Left as Possible

The most recently released Advanced Placement (AP) US History curriculum framework proves that the College Board and the Common Core are working overtime to push our High School classes as far left as possible.

The College Board is a nonprofit college readiness organization that also happens to be led by one of the architects of the Common Core, Mr. David Coleman. Coleman’s College Board just released a revised curriculum framework that is the most liberal slop our nation has ever seen. Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, calls the new AP U.S. history framework “a briefing document on progressive and leftist views of the American past,” one which “weaves together a vaguely Marxist or at least materialist reading of the key events with the whole litany of identity group grievances.”

Conservative author Stanley Kurtz asserts the College Board is “pushing U.S. history as far to the left as it can get away with at the high-school level.”

classroomAs a former High School educator, and more specifically a social studies/history teacher, I can attest that our social studies curricula had already moved pretty far to the left. For some time now, white Europeans have been regarded as “villains” deserving chastisement and no longer cheered as the heroes they once were. I tried hard in the classroom to get my students to purposefully set aside judgment as they studied a period of time or a group of people – knowing that our modern mores and beliefs may be quite different than the time we were studying. It is a hard task to view history through an unbiased lens… a task made all the more difficult when the left creates “good guys” and “bad guys” in a curriculum.

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The new College Board standards will continue to drive this horrible philosophy of historical study into the mind of our young people. It is a terribly unfruitful way to look at the world around us, and an even worse way to study history.

Larry Krieger, who has taught U.S. history for 35 years and written numerous widely popular AP and SAT exam prep books, said he reacted with shock and dismay when he read the framework earlier this year.

“It’s relentless left-wing indoctrination,” he said, calling it “antithetical to everything that I believe about teaching and our country’s history.”

 “Leaving aside its very leftist bias, it is a very poorly written, unprofessional document,” said Krieger, adding he found it “boring” and “dispiriting.”

“When they hired David Coleman, the chief architect of Common Core, they effectively politicized the College Board,” Krieger asserted. “The first thing he did was to yoke the SAT to Common Core, and now we’re going to apply Common Core principles to AP courses.”

The new curriculum leaves out the Pilgrims, many of our Founders, and the philosophies on which they based our founding. The curriculum attacks our history as one of racial hatred, violence and intolerance – doing exactly what historians should never do, taking sides. In effect, the College Board has become the mouthpiece for a socialist perspective on historical study.

The College Board’s Debbie Pennington, in an effort to defend the obviously leftist standards said this, “You’ve got to remember, this is not the story of dead, white men as taught by almost dead, white men,” she said, citing the words of a mentor. “There were other people there, too, and you’ve got to give room for that flexibility, you’ve got to give room for that flavor and a true understanding of all those issues.”

Sadly, what Pennington misses is that while History may not be the story of dead white men… it is also not exclusively the story of dead non-white men and women. The dead white men who have been the focus of Western historical study for over two centuries are vitally important to our understanding of American history. While minorities have played a large part along the way, there must be a better way to integrate that part of the story than simply deleting the “dead white guys.” (Names like Winthrop, Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, de Tocqueville, and Lincoln!)

We must become more involved in the education debate, folks. For far too long we have allowed the left free reign in all things education, and it is costing us the future. Our colleges have fallen and our high schools are not far behind. We have to make a real effort to bring conservative values to bear in education, or our other political victories won’t even matter because they’ll simply be discarded by the next generation.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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