Judging from the sheer amount of whining going on later in this Newsweek article, this decision by The College Board (the company that does the AP tests) sounds like a reasonably big deal: “The company behind Advanced Placement courses for U.S. high school students will release a revision to the standards for AP U.S. history on Thursday morning, after significant pushback from conservatives who claimed the redesigned course framework, released last year, painted American history in too negative a light.” All in all, the people who do the AP tests probably shouldn’t have picked this particular decade to emphasize collective national guilt over heroic American historical figures and treat ‘American exceptionalism’ as an unfortunate social disease, given that the people who would be most upset about it are already up in arms over Common Core. You end up with pushback from the people who dislike your take on American history, and some of the aforementioned Common Core protesters (the ones who can connect the dots).
One other point about all of this: it’s fascinating to see how Newsweek has ‘evolved’ in covering this story. Back in August of 2014, when this controversy apparently went into high gear, the article about it (written by) at least featured the results of an interview with Larry Krieger, who was and is one of the people associated with the backlash. But this current article (written by Zoe Schlanger)? The author apparently didn’t talk to a single person on the side of the protesters*. All of the Newsweek quotes are instead from people upset** at the sheer effrontery of taxpayers demanding that the incredibly important standardized tests being used in determining college placement be not written by a bunch of partisans with ideological axes to grind. It’s rather jarring, really. Especially since we still wouldn’t know how the protesters feel about this development, just from the article.
Yes, I know: “It’s just Newsweek, Moe!” So stipulated. Still. Imagine what the subtler news media sources are doing with this story.
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Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Neither did this one (same author), but that’s perhaps more forgivable.
**To give just one example: the Schlanger story gives a good deal of space to the complaints of Geri Hastings, “a teacher at Catonsville High School in Catonsville, Maryland.” You will be forgiven if, on first reading, you missed that Ms. Hastings was one of the people who actually worked on the new Framework that sparked this mess in the first place. …Yes, I imagine that she would be upset that people thought that her work was bad, and that she should be sad about that. And?