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Oklahoma Wants To End AP History Classes For Teaching Facts Instead Of Propaganda

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Oklahoma Wants To End AP History Classes For Teaching Facts Instead Of Propaganda empty classroom 280x186 jpgDid you know Oklahoma was the first state to implement state-funded universal preschool? Based on the latest news from the state, they must have done that because “preschool” is about the highest level of education they want their citizens to get.

In a re-run of last year’s events in Colorado that eventually prompted a student walk-out, Advanced Placement courses in Oklahoma are under attack, this time from two different fronts. On one side, as Think Progress reports, there’s a state a legislative committee voting to advance a bill that would prevent state funds from being using to teach Advanced Placement U.S. History. On the other, there’s another group of lawmakers seeking an injunction from the state Attorney General to prevent any Advanced Placement courses from being taught. Education, y’all!

The emergency (seriously?) bill against AP U.S. History comes courtesy of State Representative Dan Fisher, who is a member of a group called the Black Robe Regiment. (That has to be a cult, right? I mean, if that’s not a cult, I don’t know what is.) The Black Robe Regiment lists its mission on its website, and the bullet points include:

***To educate all people and restore to its rightful place the Church in America (indeed, the entire earth);

***To restore the American Church in her capacity as the Body of Christ, ambassadors of Christ, moral teacher of America and the World,
and overseer of of all principalities and governing officials (Rom 13)[.]

As part of his quest to make the American church the moral teacher of the world (good luck with that, by the way), Fisher’s bill targets AP U.S. History because it fails to promote “American exceptionalism”, and it only covers “what is bad about America”.

If you are able to read the actual APUSH course description from the College Board website (which it is possible that Fisher is not literate enough to do, I suppose) you may notice that it’s not so much that the class only teaches the bad stuff, as that it teaches the good alongside the bad. Scandalous! Speaking purely practically, it would be a challenge to fill a whole year of AP History with just the “nice” parts of history: skipping from the American Revolution to America’s participation in World War II and then the moon missions. Maybe Fisher is planning to have teachers fill in the resulting gaps with some Black Robe propaganda about how America has always been a Christian nation?

But for some Oklahoma legislators, Fisher doesn’t go far enough in trying to get AP U.S. History kicked to the curb. Another state representative, Sally Kern, thinks the College Board’s pre-established curricula for all of these classes violates anti-Common Core legislation passed in Oklahoma last year, because Advanced Placement is a “national” curriculum. There’s just one little tiny problem with that: it’s horrifically stupid. The College Board, which creates the AP curriculum, isn’t a government entity, it’s a private group. You can yell “THANKS OBAMA” at them all you want, but they’re still probably going to include minstrel shows and the Trail of Tears in the US History curriculum, they’re still going to insist evolution be covered in AP Biology, and they probably aren’t going to eliminate AP Spanish because this is America and we speak American.

Getting rid of AP classes would be a real loss to Oklahoma students – it’s a great college prep curriculum, and students who can earn college credit on the cheap via an AP course can save a lot of money on general education requirements. Plus, taking the course on AP Comparative Government and Politics would make any random high schooler more civics-savvy than state reps Fisher and Kern … no wonder they’re trying to kill these courses.

(Image: zhanglianxun/Getty)

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