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As students head back to high school this fall, they and their parents will quickly discover that much of traditional American history taught in Advanced Placement (AP) courses for college credit is being rewritten with a distinctive left-leaning bias.
The organization behind these changes is the College Board, the same organization that annually administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) to soon-to-be college freshmen. The College Board is led by David Coleman, the architect behind the controversial and much-criticized Common Core Standards.
It appears Coleman’s group hopes to change AP history in many of the same ways it changed math and English standards under Common Core: overhaul the standards, reduce quantity and place an emphasis on thinking skills. The new history standards will be in classrooms beginning this fall. However, the pushback has already started. About 400,000 students take AP History exams annually. While it’s true the AP exam is optional, the exam’s widespread use and its importance to college admissions will essentially force all high schools – public and private – to change the way history is taught.
The best way to understand the changes the College Board has made to teaching of US History is to read the document AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description. This document provides the overview and framework for the changes. The changes are numerous. They replace a five-page topical outline with a 98-page document that directs how teachers should cover historical topics.
The framework which guides the changes is global in approach. It also reflects a consistently negative view of America’s history. Units on Colonial America emphasize the development of a “rigid racial hierarchy” and a “strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority.” This strong emphasis on the pre-colonial period and Native Americans, West Africans and Spaniards is unfortunately coupled with the downplaying of the growth of freedom in the New World.
With regards to Colonial America, the new AP History bypasses such figures as Roger Williams and Ben Franklin. There is little or no content on themes of religious toleration, or on the growth of democratic institutions such as the New England town meeting or the Virginia House of Burgesses, which contributed mightily to the emergence of American democracy.
Little time is given to teaching the ideas and principles behind constitutional government. When key historical figures such as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson are mentioned, the references aren’t likely to be about their positive contributions to the nation’s founding. Instead, references are usually negative and often confined to ideological claims about class, gender, race and ethnicity. It seems students are supposed to study the Constitution not for the superiority of the ideas but as an example of how the colonists thought their own culture more superior to others.
The framework intended to guide AP History raises other problems. The framework’s emphasis on “key concepts” is meant to “relieve the pressure for teachers to cover all possible events and details of U.S. History at a superficial level.” Thus “key concepts” in essence become “the required knowledge for each period.” In determining a priority of historical topics, the College Board has set itself up as judge and jury of history and taken away the power of individual communities and states to determine what is taught in their schools and transferred it to groups of unelected individuals accountable to no one.
As might be expected, journalists and reviewers have not been kind to the new AP History Standards. The objections are too numerous to detail here. However, if you’re interested in reading some of recent stories and comments go here, here and here.
So what are the reasons for all the changes? Reviewers wanted less emphasis on memorization and more on “historical thinking skills.” Students and teachers have long complained that the current AP exam was a mile wide and an inch deep. Critics complained the exam tested memory more than thinking.
To remedy that, teachers have to make history more engaging. Everyone acknowledges students read less, so there is more emphasis on how subject matter is presented; there is less emphasis on facts and more time spent on relating secondary sources back to primary sources. The goal of the new AP is to have students think like historians. However, the change in approach requires placing more responsibility than ever on teachers. Unfortunately, with the education establishment dominated by liberals, reforms opened the door for left-leaning ideas to dominate. Reviewers developed the new exam to foster “critical thinking skills” – but apparently confused “critical thinking” with “criticism of America.”
That doesn’t sit very well with most conservatives, nor should it. The emphasis on historical thinking skills over facts and dates gives students the mistaken impression that history is merely a recitation of personal interpretations.
Creating students who think like historians sounds high-minded. However, it also assumes students have a basic grasp on facts, dates and concepts. How can you be a “historian” without having a thorough grasp of the basics? The new framework asks students to understand and interpret events but fails to provide them a solid understanding of facts or the context in which events took place. The fact is, AP History covers less and provides a left-leaning view of history. It asks teachers to do more to “interpret” history and engage students – but that also provides the opportunity to indoctrinate students.
Those who favor the new standards say local communities will still be able to choose textbooks and a curriculum to support the standards. Where have we heard that before? Furthermore, the whole point of standards is to drive what is taught (i.e. the curriculum). Those who favor the new AP History say local communities can still decide what is taught and how. My question: Since the AP exam will reflect the content of the standards, what incentive is there for any teacher to include something that won’t be tested? Also remember that new AP-aligned history books and guides (curriculum materials) are already being developed.
Regretfully, the College Board’s new history standards reject the ideals that founded and continue to animate this nation. They rewrite our history, telling it through the lens of race, class gender and ethnicity, highlighting the lows and expunging the distinctive ideas and achievements that have made America an exceptional nation.
These are disturbing developments. However, it’s not too late to act. Parents, educators and lawmakers are beginning to discover the new AP History. Questions are already emerging as to whether the new AP standards conflict with existing history standards in a number of states. Read NC History Essential Standards and judge for yourself. That’s a question that will soon face the State Board of Education. Let’s hope Board members will join members in other states in asking for a one-year delay in implementing the AP History standards. The delay will allow parents, educators and policymakers time to fully review the new history standards and ask for needed changes. As written, AP History has too many problems. We have an obligation to tell the true history of the nation we love. We owe it to those who came before us and all those who will come after us.
Share your views with your State Board of Education.
President Barack Obama “yelled” at Benjamin Netanyahu during a tense phone conversation as he demanded that the Israeli prime minister agree to an unconditional, humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, a former Israeli defense official told Newsmax TV.
“It was not a pleasant conversation if you saw what happened . . . it was not pleasant,” Danny Danon — a Likud party member of the Knesset and Netanyahu’s former deputy minister of defense — said on “The Steve Malzberg Show.” “He was yelling and telling Prime Minister Netanyahu what he should do and what he should not do.
“I tell you very frankly, we have a very close relationship with the U.S. — the strongest ally of Israel. But this is not a way to treat the leader of an ally country.” According to Danon, the fireworks erupted as Obama urged a permanent end to the hostilities between Israel and Hamas, which last week began firing rockets at key Israeli cities, prompting retaliation.
image But Obama’s tone was uncalled for, Danon said. “He is not talking, President Obama, with a leader of the Taliban. He is talking with the leader of the state of Israel, of the Jewish people, and when we are in a time of war. We need the backing and the support of the U.S. Unfortunately, we do not have it now,” Danon said. “[It's] not pleasant, to hear such a voice when you have so much pressure.”
Danon added that he thinks a permanent ceasefire is impossible for now as Hamas continues fighting. “I can tell you it is not easy for us when we see our boys being buried on a daily basis,” he said. “As we speak now, when I’m on my way to Jerusalem, we have air-raid sirens going off and we are still under attack from rocket attacks as we speak.
obama-phone“I urge Prime Minister Netanyahu and my friends in the cabinet to be strong now and to do whatever is good for Israel, even if it means to tell President Obama, no, we cannot satisfy your wishes or your pressure to sign a ceasefire, which would be bad for Israel now,” Danon told host Steve Malzberg.
“It is an insult the way President Obama is treating Israel and Secretary [of State John] Kerry is treating Israel. It is an insult for us,” he said.”The demand to have a ceasefire . . . is unacceptable. The U.S. knows how to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban, and we are fighting Hamas . . . You don’t beg for a ceasefire.
Check out the video: http://youtu.be/SF1efolOJX4
The head of the Catholic League issued a scathing criticism at President Obama, posting on his group’s website an essay that pointed to all the Christians being beheaded by Muslim terrorists and asking: Doesn’t that matter to you?
The head of the Catholic League issued a scathing criticism at President Obama, posting on his group’s website an essay that pointed to all the Christians being beheaded by Muslim terrorists and asking: Doesn’t that matter to you?
“Christians are being beheaded all over the Middle East because they are Christians, and those carrying out this mass murder are doing so in the name of Islam,” Bill Donohue wrote on his group’s website, Newsmax reported. “Yet you continue to say and do absolutely nothing about these unspeakable crimes. Do Christians mean so little to you?”
Mr. Donohue also referenced Mr. Obama’s end-of-Eid al-Fitr celebration remarks — when the president and first lady Michelle Obama spoke of the “many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation” — as a face slap to Christians.
Most puzzling, he went on, Newsmax reported, was the fact that Mr. Obama spoke in this statement about the “common values” that unite those of all religious faiths.
“I can search in vain to find you condemning the genocidal slaughter of Christians by Muslims,” Mr. Donohue wrote. “Muslim terrorists are killing Jews in Israel, and their representatives have pledged to wipe Jews off the face of the earth. Yet your administration spends most of its time lecturing Israelis to be patient. About what? Being bombed because they are Jews? Do Jewish lives mean so little to you?”
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
A Port St. Lucie, Forida, mom has been arrested and charged with child neglect for daring to let her son, 7, play in the park half a mile from home. He was happily walking there when a busybody noticed him and asked where his mommy was. Then the busybody called the cops, since apparently no child should ever be outside without a private security detail.
The police descended upon the scene of the crime and later arresting the mom for the usual charge of child neglect. What if something bad had happened?
As the mom, Nicole Gainey, told ABC Action News:
"My own bondsman said my parents would have been in jail every day," says Gainey who paid nearly $4,000 to bond out.
The officer wrote in the report that Dominic was unsupervised at the park and that "numerous sex offenders reside in the vicinity".
"He just basically kept going over that there's pedophiles and this and that and basically the park wasn't safe and he shouldn't be there alone," says Gainey.
Never mind that research has shown living on the same block as a registered sex offender does not make kids less safe. It seems the cops bought into the idea that predators are everywhere, always waiting to pounce, and simply because the worst could happen—no matter how extremely unlikely—children can never be left unsupervised in well-lit, popular public parks.
free-range-kidsLet me reiterate here that these arrests are uncommon—that's why they make the news—and should not dissuade parents from sending their kids to play. On the contrary, the more kids running around outside again, the more normal it will seem, and perhaps these excessive fears will subside.
Or else we'll be living under a de facto policy of No Child Left Outside.
Below is the transcript for David Horowitz’s appearance on Monday, July 28th, on The Hannity Radio Show to discuss his just released new book, Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left.
Sean Hannity: David, it’s good to have you back on the program. How are you?
David Horowitz: Thanks, Sean. Let me just say that you have the best media voice of anyone on this issue of the Middle East, and I thank you for it.
Obama is an anti-American. He supports the terrorists, he’s supporting Hamas in this battle. He supports the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the fountainhead of al-Qaeda and all the terrorist groups in the Middle East. He is leading a retreat of America from the world. He is taking us down as a nation. He’s an anti-American radical with Communist views. And we need to have more people saying this, telling it like it is.
Sean Hannity: Let me just say — whenever somebody — I have so many people that tape this program on a regular basis — they’re going to say — Hannity allows Horowitz to say the President hates America. Let me –
David Horowitz: He does hate America!
Sean Hannity: Let me ask you this question.
David Horowitz: Yes?
Sean Hannity: Why would this President give Mohamed Morsi 1.5 billion –
David Horowitz: Exactly.
Sean Hannity: Now, Mohamed Morsi referred to the Israelis, Jews, as descendents of apes and pigs. We gave him tanks –
David Horowitz: These are followers of the jihad, they’re supporters of the jihad. They want to kill every infidel and make everybody subservient to their version of Allah. That’s basically what it’s about.
Sean Hannity: Well, look at what’s going on in Mosul. We now have a situation where if you’re a Christian and you live in Mosul, and the new radical ISIS — because we never supported Iraq with intelligence and training; we just pulled out, because politically that was expedient for Obama.
David Horowitz: Obama came to office determined to lose the Iraq war, which he has done. And he has lost the war in Afghanistan, which he has done. And he has lost the Middle East. And Republicans are not shouting this from the rooftops. Obama’s actions are all very deliberate. He is a lifelong anti-American radical.
You’ve been terrific on Bill Ayers. Bill Ayers’s views are Obama’s views. Bill Ayers is critical of Obama from the left, but that’s because he’s not in power. But if Bill Ayers was in power with Obama, he’d be doing exactly what Obama is doing.
Sean Hannity: Here’s what the United States of America is doing right now that I don’t think most Americans know. We are giving the Hamas Palestinian coalition government — they just give him 47 million more dollars. We gave them, what, 400 million recently.
David Horowitz: This guy sympathizes with America’s enemies. There’s no other way to explain it. But I need to talk about my –
Sean Hannity: I’m going to talk about your book. Look, I don’t [see] it the way you do. I don’t know what’s in his heart. I do know that he is exactly who I said he would be, and that is his ACORN, Alinsky, friendships and associations with Father Pfleger and Reverend Wright, and Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. He is a rigid, radical ideologue. I –
David Horowitz: That’s all correct, Sean.
Sean Hannity: Hang on, hang on. And he has governed with no capacity to be pragmatic or change like Bill Clinton — the era of big government is over.
David Horowitz: No, because he’s an ideologue. I know what’s in his heart. Because he comes out of this exact identical Left that I spent, you know, my life in until I was 35.
Sean Hannity: Why do you say –
David Horowitz: The same people, the same ideas, the same ill will towards this country. And he never came out of it. So that’s how I know.
Sean Hannity: So in other words, you grew up with Communist parents. Your parents were Communists.
David Horowitz: Right. And his mentor was a Communist. He came –
Sean Hannity: Frank Marshall Davis.
David Horowitz: — out of a Communist background.
Sean Hannity: Well.
David Horowitz: And he never repudiated it. And because he never repudiated it, I know he still believes it. He didn’t repudiate it because he identifies with it. You know, Valerie Jarrett is the same, David Axelrod — they’re all — they all come out of the anti-American communist left.
Sean Hannity: What is it that you think he thinks? Because I know you’re going to criticized for your words, “anti-American radical.” So I want to give you some — I want to give you a chance to clarify. Are you saying that his radical, rigid ideology that he believes that America’s an imperialist country, that –
David Horowitz: Absolutely. And he wants to weaken America. Every time America is weakened, the oppressed of the world are, in his eyes, uplifted. That is his view. He is a radical of the Jeremiah Wright, Billy Ayers, Alinsky school. And there’s just no question about it. You know, Stanley Kurtz has written a whole book documenting this. But it should be evident to everyone now.
Sean Hannity: Now, let me ask you about this. We’re heading into an important election. And I’ve talked about, at length on this program, I’m kind of inspired by what conservative governors are doing. I was just talking to Paul Ryan about it. And in other words, they’re taking deficits, turning them into surpluses. High unemployment — they’re creating jobs in their state. You know, I’m talking about Texas, Rick Perry; Florida, Rick Scott –
David Horowitz: Yep.
Sean Hannity: — Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Scott Walker. I mean, you know, Susana Martinez and Nikki Haley — those people are doing some good work.
I have been frustrated with Republicans in Congress, because they don’t seem — they seem too timid, too unwilling to fight Obama, too unwilling to use their constitutional authority on spending. And they don’t have an inspiring vision that makes me say, you know, I want to vote for you, because that sounds like a good idea.
David Horowitz: That’s exactly right. My book is a book on how to fight.
Look, Chris Lehane, who’s a Democratic strategist, said — everybody has a game plan until you punch them in the mouth. The Democrats have a massive punch, which they use every election against Republicans, calling them racists, sexists, women-haters, minority-haters, haters of the poor. When they do that, they can take a perfectly decent human being like Mitt Romney and so tar and feather him that his message never gets across.
What’s the Republican punch in the mouth, the response to this? There is none! They have absolutely no answer. Republicans are all focused on policies, on budgets, on administrative things. The answer is very obvious. You take the victims of the Democrats, and you throw them in their faces. It’s Democrats who are racist. They control all the major inner cities in America. Every policy that affects the inner city is a Democratic monopoly. They have millions, millions of poor black and Hispanic children in schools that don’t teach them. And they have them trapped there and won’t let them go to private schools. They won’t give them choice, freedom.
This is a horrendous social atrocity. For decades, this has been going on. The Democrats have controlled the inner cities of America for 50 to 100 years. The Republican Convention should’ve been held in Detroit, which is the symbol of what Democrats do when they have the power.
In 1961, Detroit was the richest city in America. Now, it’s the poorest large city in America. Two thirds of its population has fled. Why? Because the Democrats have racist, anti-white policies; they drove the white middle class out. They’re anti-business; they drove business out. They bankrupt — they turned Detroit from a first-world city into a third-world city in one generation. If the Republicans held their convention in Detroit, they’d have a symbol to shove in the Democrats’ faces and shut them up about Republican wars on women and minorities.
Sean Hannity: You know, I’ve known you a long time. A real long time. You’re really, really worked up about how bad things are. And I got to be honest — I share your emotion here. Because I think we’re losing our country. You say that, and people say — you know, you listen –
David Horowitz: We are losing our country, rapidly. Obamacare — what is Obamacare about? Why don’t Republicans mention this? It’s a fundamental attack on individual freedom. Republicans need to make their argument a moral argument, the way the Democrats do. The Democrats portray Republicans as evil. Until Republicans effectively portray Democrats as evil, they will be outgunned in any political contest.
Sean Hannity: So what else do you think they should do?
David Horowitz: Obamacare is a major transformation of the country. The government can now tell you that you have to buy their health insurance. You have four choices. Someday, it may be one choice, if they get their single payer system. Then they also tell you, if you’ve worked hard and played by the rules, we’re going to stick our hands in your pockets and take money out of it to subsidize people who haven’t worked hard, who haven’t played by the rules.
This is a fundamental transformation of America, Obamacare. And I just don’t see Republicans fighting the moral issue. The conservative movement is built on the idea of freedom, individual freedom. And you don’t hear that rhetoric. And you need to hear it in these election battles.
My book, “Take No Prisoners” — goes over all of this, chapter and verse — how to do it. And it’s just out today, and I thank you for –
Sean Hannity: Boy, you’re out of breath. Are you okay?
David Horowitz: I am out of breath. One of the reasons I’m so angry is I’m 75 — you know, I’ve been saying this for 20 years; Republicans don’t listen. I’ve watched the country slipping away. You know, I don’t know what to say. I would never have believed it could happen so rapidly as it’s happening now.
Sean Hannity: Yeah.
David Horowitz: But we are now no longer a power in the world. And that means that the bad guys are having a field day.
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