Board Of Education To Review Requirements Of Advance Placement History Exams

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell (R-Riceville) have called on the Tennessee State Board of Education to conduct a review of the new framework and materials used in all Advanced Placement U.S. History courses taught in Tennessee classrooms.  The request was made by the lawmakers in a letter to Board Chairman Fielding Rolston and comes after criticism that the new College Board framework for APUSH reflects revisionist views of American history that emphasizes negative aspects, while omitting or minimizing the positive, said officials.

Advanced Placement courses are college-level classes that students can take while still in high school.  Most colleges and universities in the United States grant credit and placement for qualifying scores.  The exams are produced by the College Board, a private company, which also is responsible for the SAT college admission test.   

“There are many concerns with the new APUSH framework, not the least of which is that it pushes a revisionist interpretation of historical facts,” said Chairman Gresham.  “The items listed as required knowledge have some inclusions which are agenda-driven, while leaving out basic facts that are very important to our nation’s history.  We need a full review of the framework by our Board as to its effects on Tennessee students and our state standards.  We have also asked the Board to provide a forum in which parents and other concerned citizens can let their voices be heard on the matter.”

Tennessee law specifies students in the state must be taught foundational documents in U.S. and Tennessee history.  It also provides that instructional materials, specifically in U.S. history, comply with this state mandate.   

The APUSH framework includes little or no discussion of the founding fathers and the principles of the Declaration of Independence, and other critical topics which had previously been included in the course.  It presents a negative interpretation regarding the motivations and actions of 17th – 19th century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the development of and victory in the Cold War. 

In addition, the APUSH framework excludes discussion of the U.S. military, battles, commanders, and heroes, as well as mentioning many other individuals and events that shaped history like the Holocaust and American icons Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, George Washington Carver and Dr. Martin Luther King, said officials.

“The APUSH framework appears to differ greatly from Tennessee’s U.S. history standards,” added Chairman Bell.  “This interferes with our state law and standards for U.S. history if our teachers focus on preparing their pupils for the AP examination, which is a very important test for college-bound students.  We have worked very hard over the past several years to ensure that our students are learning history based on facts, rather than a politically-biased point of view.”  

Approximately 500,000 students across the nation take Advanced Placement courses in U.S. History each year.  Tennessee has worked over the past several years to push students to take Advanced Placement exams as part of the effort to increase the number of citizens with post-secondary degrees. 



Signal Mountain Student Earns Academic Award At Maryville College

Anna Dieter, a junior theatre studies major from Signal Mountain, was recognized with the Evelyn Seedorf Prize in Dramatic Arts during Maryville College’s annual Academic Awards Ceremony that was held April 21 on the campus of the liberal arts school.  This award is given annually to the most deserving student majoring in theatre. Ms. Dieter is a 2015 graduate of ... (click for more)

Board Of Regents To Meet June 21-22; Agenda Includes Student Tuition For 2018-19

The Tennessee Board of Regents will hold its summer quarterly meeting Thursday and Friday, June 21-22, at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland. The agenda includes action on student tuition and fees for the 2018-19 school year. The Board of Regents governs the 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology comprising the College System of Tennessee.  ... (click for more)

Red Bank Finalizes 20-Cent Property Tax Increase

The Red Bank commissioners voted Tuesday night to adopt the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget that includes a property tax increase. Mayor John Roberts said that along with the increase in both commercial and residential development, comes increased traffic. Infrastructure has not kept up with the growth, including the secondary roads. The cost of paving these roads is $1 million. Money ... (click for more)

Riverton Development Spurs Talk Of Riverwalk Along The Northshore

Development of the former BlueCross property at Lupton City is spurring talk of a Riverwalk on the Northshore. The City Council discussed the topic on Tuesday night in giving final approval for a Planned Unit Development for Riverton on 210 acres. Officials said there are no specific plans for a Northshore Riverwalk, but several groups are actively working to make a connection ... (click for more)

Never Replacing Claude Ramsey But Following His Example

When Claude made his decision not to seek reelection as the 26th District state representative I made my intention known to seek the office following him.  Immediately opponents from both parties began to qualify for that opportunity.  With Bill Bennett as my campaign manager and many of Claude’s supporters going door to door into the community, as Claude had done in his ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Please ‘Connect The Dots’

Get your crayons out and let’s play “connect the dots.” Next Thursday (June 28 th ) the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, in partnership with Chattanooga’s publicly-flawed non-profit educational foundation, UnifiEd, will hold its regional meeting at Chattanooga’s Bessie Smith Hall. The coalition was formed to advocate for “students of color” in Tennessee, and among those on ... (click for more)