College Board Tries To Placate Critics Over Unpatriotic AP History Claims

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The College Board on Wednesday released revised instructions for the AP U.S. History framework to address concerns that the company dramatically revised the class and presented a biased view of American history.

Following a written critique of the new exam framework by former AP History teacher Larry Krieger, conservatives said that the new course would “effectively force American high schools to teach U.S. history from a leftist perspective.”

The Republican National Committee adopted a resolution condemning the new framework, and multiple state and local school boards have taken actions to denounce the revised course.

College Board defended the new framework. In an August open letter, the authors of the new exam said that critics had “a misunderstanding of U.S. history” and noted that they did not remove any topics from the exam, but merely provided new details.

Now, College Board has revised the instructions for the framework. They released an updated version on Sept. 30.

The new version includes new clarifications promised in a Sept. 11 letter from College Board Senior Vice President Trevor Packer.

The new instructions tell teachers that they are able to choose their own course materials and that they are able to “focus in depth on such essential content such as the Founding Documents, WWII, key leaders in the civil rights movement.”

The instructions also address complaints about bias in the new framework. The letter stated that “the AP Exam questions do not require students to agree with the statements in the framework. In fact, the AP Exam’s free-response questions will give students the flexibility to ‘support, refine, or challenge’ assertions about these concepts.”

College Board also released a curriculum planner for the course with an outline of the framework that leaves room for teachers to note which materials they will use in the class.

Read the Sept. 11 letter:

Sept. 11 College Board Letter On Ap U.S. History

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: