APUSH stands for Advanced Placement United States History. Members of the College Board’s APUSH Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee have identified themselves as the authors of the APUSH Curriculum Framework.
This “Framework” lays down the history that students must be taught.
We quote criticism of its prescriptions from the excellent Heartland Institute:
The Framework omits Benjamin Franklin, Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King Jr, and many other key figures in American history. [The authors] accuse critics of “misunderstanding our document”. Unfortunately, we have not misunderstood anything; the document is clear. The Framework devotes pages 28 to 80 to a detailed outline of the “required knowledge” students are expected to learn in their AP U.S. History course. The Framework unequivocally states, “Beginning with the May 2015 AP U.S. History Exams, no AP U.S. History Exam questions will require students to know historical content that falls outside this concept outline” (emphasis added).
The Framework is a lengthy document that provides more than enough space to include key figures and seminal documents from American history. The College Board [has not] … explained why the Framework does have space to include Chief Little Turtle, the Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Panthers, but does not have space to include Dwight Eisenhower, Jonas Salk, and Martin Luther King Jr. The omissions have been widely criticized. …
The authors invite critics to examine the just-released AP Practice Exam. They contend that reviewers will find “a rich and inclusive body of historic knowledge”. In reality, reviewers will find an exam that tests a surprisingly limited range of topics. …
President Ronald Reagan is the only historic figure who actually generates specific questions. In one question, Reagan’s famous “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” quote is used to reflect “increased assertiveness and bellicosity.” …
[The authors] insist that the Framework strikes “a careful balance between teaching factual knowledge and critical analysis.” We believe the APUSH Framework fails to meet the test of providing a balanced curriculum that acknowledges both the nation’s founding principles and its continuing struggles to be faithful to those principles.
Heartland then provides “a list of biased statements taken verbatim from the Framework” (all page references given).
Here is our abridged version of its most important points, with our own emphasis in bold on the most egregious examples of where leftist intention to indoctrinate is plain, and our comments added to the Heartland comments:
“Teachers can explore the roots of the modern environmental movement in the Progressive Era and New Deal, as well as debate the underlying and proximate causes of environmental catastrophes arising from pesticide use and offshore oil drilling.”
Interpretation: “You can debate it all you like, but we’re telling you what the causes are anyway.”
“Many Europeans developed a belief in white superiority to justify their subjugation of Africans and American Indians, using several different rationales.”
Which Europeans would those be? Whoever they were, the British – they claim – were the worst in this respect:
“Unlike Spanish, French, and Dutch colonies, which accepted intermarriage and cross-racial sexual unions with native peoples (and, in Spain’s case, with enslaved Africans), English colonies attracted both males and females who rarely intermarried with either native peoples or Africans, leading to the development of a rigid racial hierarchy. Reinforced by a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority, the British system enslaved black people in perpetuity, altered African gender and kinship relationships in the colonies and was one factor that led the British colonists into violent confrontations with native peoples.”
Nothing about the British being the first nation ever in the history of the world to put a stop to slavery and the slave trade within its jurisdiction? Seems not.
The sole statement about the New England colonies is that “founded primarily by Puritans seeking to establish a community of like-minded religious believers, [they] developed a close-knit, homogeneous society and – aided by favorable environmental conditions – a thriving mixed economy of agriculture and commerce”. Omitted are the Pilgrims, Mayflower Compact, Winthrop’s “City Upon a Hill,” Roger Williams and religious toleration, New England town meetings and the birth of democratic institutions, and much more [of this period].
The sole statement about the Middle Colonies is: “The demographically, religiously, and ethnically diverse middle colonies supported a flourishing export economy based on cereal crops.” Omitted are William Penn, the Quakers, Pennsylvania policy of religious toleration, and the fact that their economic prosperity attracted a diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups. The Framework’s dominant theme is that American history is really the story of identity groups and conflicts.
The sole reference to George Washington is that his Farewell Address “warned about the dangers of divisive political parties and permanent foreign alliances”.
The sole reference to the Declaration of Independence is: “The colonists’ belief in the superiority of republican self-government based on the natural rights of the people found its clearest American expression in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and in the Declaration of Independence.”
The Framework omits both Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy. This sort of biased statement reinforces the Framework’s consistently negative portrayal of the American experience: “Many white Americans in the South asserted their regional identity through pride in the institution of slavery, insisting that the federal government should defend their institution.” And: “Resistance to initiatives for democracy and inclusion included proslavery arguments, rising xenophobia, anti-black sentiments in political and popular culture, and restrictive anti-Indian policies.”
This is how the Framework describes the Monroe Doctrine and the annexation of Texas: ” The U.S. sought dominance over the North American continent through a variety of means, including military actions, judicial decisions, and diplomatic efforts.” And: ” The idea of Manifest Destiny, which asserted U.S. power in the Western Hemisphere and supported U.S. expansion westward, was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority, and helped to shape the era’s political debates.” In fact, Manifest Destiny expressed America’s mission to spread its democratic institutions and technology across the continent. This revisionist definition clearly expresses the Framework’s negative biases.
The sole references to President Lincoln are to “Lincoln’s election on a free soil platform [and] Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation”. The Framework omits the Gettysburg Address.
There is plain anti-business bias. “Business interests battled conservationists as the latter sought to protect sections of unspoiled wilderness through the establishment of national parks and other conservationist and preservationist measures.” And capitalism is consistently portrayed negatively. “A number of critics challenged the dominant corporate ethic in the United States and sometimes capitalism itself, offering alternate visions of the good society through utopianism and the Social Gospel.”
The construction of the transcontinental railroads was a major American achievement, but is portrayed in an entirely negative light, thus: “As transcontinental railroads were completed, bringing more settlers west, U.S. military actions, the destruction of the buffalo, the confinement of American Indians to reservations, and assimilationist policies reduced the number of American Indians and threatened native culture and identity.”
America’s contribution to the Allied cause in World War 1 is described thus: “Although the American Expeditionary Force played a relatively limited role in the war… ” And: “The mass mobilization of American society to supply troops for the war effort and a workforce on the home front ended the Great Depression [factually incorrect as the depression bottomed out in 1933 – ed] and provided opportunities for women and minorities to improve their socioeconomic positions.” And: ” Wartime experiences, such as the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values.” The Framework’s complete coverage of World War II is contained in those sentences. It omits all mention of American military commanders, battles, and the valor of our servicemen and women who ended the long night of Nazi oppression.
Also note that the Framework completely omits the Holocaust.
The Korean War and the Vietnam War are dealt with in one sentence “The United States sought to ‘contain’ Soviet-dominated communism through a variety of measures, including military engagements in Korea and Vietnam.”
Then an issue is raised that the authors clearly regard as far more important than wars and genocide:
“Activists began to question society’s assumptions about gender and to call for social and economic equality for women and for gays and lesbians.”
Though the Framework omits Rosa Parks and Dr. King, it does have room for the SDS and the Black Panthers: “Teachers have the flexibility to [ie they really should] use examples such as the following: Students for a Democratic Society, Black Panthers.”
And here is how they want the final victory of the US over the evil empire of the USSR taught:
This is the Framework’s simplistic explanation for how and why the Cold War ended: “President Ronald Reagan, who initially rejected détente with increased defense spending, military action, and bellicose rhetoric, later developed a friendly relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, leading to significant arms reductions by both countries.”
No “debate’ about the victims of the Communist regimes is prescribed. By implication, the history of the USSR, China, Cambodia, is proscribed. To mention the millions killed, imprisoned, enslaved, starved, or worked to death by Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot might distract students from building their disgust with the Framework’s garbled, misleading, and thoroughly evil version of their own country’s history.
The concluding statement is that: “Demographic changes intensified debates about gender roles, family structures, and racial and national identity. ” And the authors recommend (“teachers have the flexibility to use”) examples such as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” debate.
From the framework document alone it would be easy to draw up the American Communist Manifesto. Simply assemble: Environmentalism … anti-fossil fuel … victimization of women and homosexuals … down with white men … one (Left) party rule … anti-NATO (“foreign alliances”) … anti-US military strength … RACE … Marxist utopianism …
The main point of the document is that the United States has been an oppressive, murderous, cruel, racist, destructive, genocidal, polluting, avaricious, inhumane power. Implied is that it must change into a collectivist egalitarian utopia under Communist one-party rule.
And that is how the history of America is to be taught to its own rising generations.