Critics say proposed new U.S. history curriculum guidelines for top high school students skip over Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Benjamin Franklin and other American icons and instead paint the country as a darker force of bigotry and tyranny.
Conservative education activists are urging the College Board to delay or even ditch a proposed 98-page curriculum framework for Advanced Placement history classes that would replace a current five-page outline given to teachers, Fox News reported.
U.S. Naval Academy History Professor Craig Symonds, left, Susan Eisennhower, granddaughter of former president and D-Day Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, center, and Elliott Roosevelt III, great-grandson of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, lay a wreath during a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, June 6, 2014, at the World War II Memorial in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“The framework ignores the rise of democratic institutions such as the House of Burgesses and New England town meetings,” reads an open letter to the College Board, which oversees Advanced Placement testing. “It also omits the colonists’ growing commitment to religious freedom and the emergence of a pluralistic society that lacked an entrenched aristocracy.”
Also skirted over: America's role in fighting the Nazis during World War II.
Instead, said Larry Krieger, a retired teacher and former test preparation expert, the guidelines feature “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."
“And you’re not going to find Thomas Jefferson and the House of Burgesses and the cradle of democracy either,” Krieger told Fox. “You’re not going to find Benjamin Franklin and the birth of American entrepreneurialism.”
According to Fox, if approved, the guidelines would be used to teach about 500,000 high school students across the country each year.
The College Board oversees the SAT and the ACT exams. Conservative commentator Stanley Kurtz warned in an oped that the board sought a leftward shift in in the teaching American history.
Jane Robbins, an attorney with the American Principles Project, told Fox News that education officials in seven states are reviewing the guidelines. In Texas, State Board of Education Member Ken Mercer last month asked to delay the new guidelines to determine whether they are part of the controversial Common Core education standards that Texas did not adopt.