New U.S. History guidelines are designed to minimize American achievements and foster hatred for nation’s cultural history
A recent Reuters/Ipsos online survey found that 70 percent of Americans are concerned that continued mass (illegal) immigration is threatening the nation’s culture, as well as the economy. Now, there are concerns that some new history curriculum standards have intentionally left out major American figures and accomplishments.
As reported by Fox News, these new history standards, which have been proposed for the nation’s top high school students, “leave out such American icons as Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King, Jr., paint colonists as bigots and gloss over the Greatest Generation’s fight to save the world from Nazi Germany, according to conservative education activists who want the framework delayed — and perhaps scrapped altogether.”
In an open letter that is being circulated by conservative education activists, signatories are calling on the College Board to delay the implementation of new Advanced Placement U.S. History guidelines, noting that a “rising tide of opposition” to them believes that the curriculum will be culturally harmful for the country’s future.
‘It ignores the rise of democratic institutions’
The August 4 letter, addressed to David Coleman, the president and CEO of the New York-based nonprofit organization, claimed that the new 98-page curriculum is a “dramatic departure” from a five-page outline previously used by teachers and students. In addition, the signatories say the new curriculum appears to offer consistently negative views of Americans as oppressors and exploiters.
“The framework ignores the rise of democratic institutions such as the House of Burgesses and New England town meetings,” the letter says [read it here: http://opposenewapstandards.us]. “It also omits the colonists’ growing commitment to religious freedom and the emergence of a pluralistic society that lacked an entrenched aristocracy.”
Among what is missing from the new curriculum, says a former public school teacher and author of a pair of Advanced Placement preparation guides, is any mention of John Winthrop and his “city upon a hill” sermon, as a key early instance of American exceptionalism, as well as references to Roger Williams and the birth of religious tolerance.
“And you’re not going to find Thomas Jefferson and the House of Burgesses and the cradle of democracy either,” said Larry Krieger, who retired in 2005 following more than three decades in the classroom. “And finally, you’re not going to find Benjamin Franklin and the birth of American entrepreneurialism.”
What is in the curriculum, however, is a “narrative laden with tyranny and subjugation,” Fox News reported, adding that about 500,000 students nationwide will be exposed to it.
“What you’re going to find is our nation’s founders portrayed as bigots who developed a belief in white superiority that was, in turn, derived from a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority,” Krieger told the news network.
Krieger specialized in the Advanced Placement U.S. History course when he taught, most recently in New Jersey. He participated in a conference call Monday with others who are concerned about what the new curriculum says about the country and how America will be portrayed to future generations of high schoolers. He and the others are seeking to delay implementation of the new materials for at least a year.
‘There’s no understanding of what makes this country great’
Jane Robbins, an attorney with the American Principles Project in Washington, who also participated in the conference call, said continuing discussions are taking place with education officials in at least seven states, seeking to either delay the curriculum or block it altogether.
“There are conversations going on with members of several of the state boards,” Robbins said, including Texas, Colorado and North Carolina.
Ken Mercer, a Republican state Board of Education member in Texas, has reportedly asked to delay the curriculum to give state officials a chance to see if it violates a 2013 law banning the teaching of so-called “Common Core” educational standards; Common Core is a nationwide initiative adopted by 45 states that details what children from K-12 should have learned upon graduating each level.
Robbins, meanwhile, said her biggest issue with the curriculum is how it portrays Americans as nothing but confrontational and aggressive, and having contributed little positive to the world.
“It presents American history as one long story of groups in conflict,” she told FoxNews.com. “It does not focus on individuals at all. The idea seems to be that the only force in history worth considering is the group identity — and all of these groups are in constant conflict according to this particular narrative.”
“There’s no understanding of what makes this country great,” she added.