Aug 4, 2014

Common Core Architect Coleman & College Board Radicalize AP US History

Karen R. Effrem, MD – President

Note: There is a national conference call TONIGHT August 4th at 8 PM EST led by American Principles Project in Action and Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee to educate and discuss action on this very important issue. Please join the call by dialing (530) 881-1000   and using participant access code: 632867#

The radical education “reformers’ have combined with Common Core proponents and architects to put forth a startlingly anti-American framework for the AP (Advanced Placement) US History course and test that will start to be offered this fall to over 400,000 of the best and brightest students in the nation.  This framework will completely usurp state standards and nationalize the teaching of US history, which has been the goal of the education establishment for many years.

Here is a partial list of the many problems with the framework according to APPIA and CWALAC:

  • A relentlessly negative view of American history, which emphasizes every problem and failing of our ancestors while ignoring or minimizing their achievements.
  • Almost total silence about the Founding Fathers, including no mention of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Adams, and almost none of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Omission of military history, battles, commanders, and heroes.
  • A biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the conduct of and victory in the Cold War.

The net effect of all of this seems to be to emphasize identity politics and paint the history of America as relentlessly oppressive to African and Native Americans and to completely erase the idea of American exceptionalism.

To those who say this has nothing to do with Common Core, because Common Core is only supposed to be about English and math, please remember that the full name of the Common Core Standards is the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.  As documented in our testimony, Minnesota, in what may well have been a test case for this curricular coup, when adopting new social studies standards freely admitted that the Common Core English Standards were used in the development of the social studies standards.

Here is a statement from Minnesota’s Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR)admitting the connection of Common Core to the new more radical MN social studies standards:

In addition to legislative directives, the state’s system of academic standards has been influenced by at least two important multi-state initiatives: 1) the American Diploma Project (ADP)33, and 2) the Common Core State Standards Initiative.34 The state’s process for reviewing and revising the K-12 academic standards was developed in consultation with experts from the ADP sponsored by Achieve. Achieve is a bipartisan, non-profit organization that helps states raise academic standards, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for postsecondary education, work and citizenship. (Emphasis added – p. 13)
And here is a telling paragraph from another MDE document clearly linking the Common Core English standards to Minnesota’s new radical social studies standards:
Another way that the Committee ensured that the proposed social studies standards provide college and career readiness, was to align the social studies standards with the 2010 Minnesota Academic Standards in English Language Arts. [Common Core] The language arts standards contain content related to literacy in history and social studies. They include all of the Common Core language arts standards–rigorous standards that have been widely documented as aligned with college and career-readiness expectations. (Emphasis added – p, 13 )

It appears that  Coleman and the College Board are doing on a national level what the Minnesota Department of Education did to that state’s social studies standards as described by Dr. John Fonte of the Hudson Institute in his National Review piece, America the Ugly and in his review submitted to the state:

“Nine years ago a group of history professors from the University of Minnesota sent a letter to the state’s education department. They complained that the history/social-studies standards for Minnesota presented American history too positively. The historians wanted early American history described in terms of “conquest,” “subjugation,” “exploitation,” “enslavement,” and “genocidal impact.” For these academics, the story of America primarily meant slavery for African Americans, genocide for American Indians, subjugation for women, xenophobia for immigrants, and exploitation for poor people

It looks like the Minnesota academics have finally achieved their goal. …

…But, American achievements are downplayed while the overarching theme becomes “institutionalized racism.” Of course, this logically means that the major “institutions” of American liberal democracy — the courts, Congress, the presidency, state and local governments, businesses, churches, civic organizations — and the entire democratic system and its civil society are racist and therefore, clearly, illegitimate.”

In addition, the obsessive emphasis on oppression of minorities by Europeans and racial politics seems to fit with the Minnesota standards that promoted the concept of “institutional racism.”  As we also documented during the standards fight, that concept is part of the highly controversial teaching methodology called Critical Race Theory (CRT).  CRT is explained by Robert Holland of the Lexington Institute as follows:

“Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a radical academic doctrine that gained currency in elite U.S. law schools in the 1980s and ‘90s, and has more recently taken hold with multiculturalism advocates in teacher-training institutions. Its central tenet is that institutional racism pervades and drives American culture – an assertion consistent with the multiculturalist view popular in many schools of education that America has been an oppressive force from its formative days to the present.

One of the progenitors of CRT, the late Derrick Bell, a Harvard University law professor, berated liberal civil-rights scholars for their championing of a colorblind society. Like many of his allies, he relied largely on narrative and anecdote to advance his arguments, and argued for sweeping societal transformation generated more by political organizing than rights-based legal remedies.

Critics rightly point out that by relying on such untestable stories and theories, CRT radicals reject the Western tradition of rational inquiry and analysis. In short, they depend on stereotypes rather than reason…”

It is very important that this national framework and test be rejected.  Please join the call this evening at the number and code listed above.  More details about the call and panelists are available HERE. Much more detailed information is available on the CWFA Georgia website.  There are numerous news articles and the following documents from there contain extensive quotes and analysis of this very problematic framework:


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