College Board To Release New Edition Of Controversial AP History Course

April 10, 2015 12:16 p.m.

College Board will released a new edition of the AP U.S. History exam this summer following significant backlash from conservatives, who decried the new framework for the course as too negative and “revisionist.”

“This summer, the College Board will release a new edition of the course framework which will clarify and encourage a balanced approach to the teaching of American history, while remaining faithful to the requirements that colleges and universities set for academic credit,” Trevor Packer, College Board’s senior vice president for AP, wrote in a letter in the Wall Street Journal.

It’s not clear what College Board will change in the course framework. The company already addressed concerns about the exam in October 2013 by releasing revised instructions. The instructions made it clear to teachers that they can choose what to include in the course and can “focus in depth on such essential content such as the Founding Documents, WWII, key leaders in the civil rights movement.”

Packer announced that the College Board would release a new edition of the exam while responding to an op-ed written by Lynne Cheney criticizing the exam.

“While there has been a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about the current AP U.S. history course framework, there has also been principled and thoughtful feedback,” Packer wrote in his letter. “Given the substantive feedback we have received from educators and the general public representing a range of political viewpoints, we are confident that the concerns some have expressed this past year—including those of Mrs. Cheney—will be resolved by the new framework.”

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

College Board accepted public feedback on the exam through February, and will release the results from the public comments this summer.

College Board initially released its new framework in October 2012, prompting backlash from conservatives about changes to the course.

The Republican National Committee condemned the course’s “consistently negative view of American history” in August. Numerous states and school districts then followed suit in denouncing the exam, including Oklahoma and Georgia.

Latest Livewire
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: