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. 


McCallie Future Business Leaders Of America Start 2017 Strong

The Future Business Leaders of America Chapter of McCallie has had a busy and efficient start to 2017.  Ten members of the club went to Knoxville to compete in the regional FBLA competition, while three other members took a test before the event.   All 13 members who took part in the regional competition were top finalists in their respective event and were invited ... (click for more)

Rosaria Butterfield To Speak In Bryan College Chapel March 8

Christian author and speaker Rosaria Butterfield will speak in chapel service on Wednesday, March 8, at 10 a.m in Rudd Auditorium. Dr. Butterfield was once a tenured professor of English who identified as a lesbian and worked to advance the cause of LGBT equality. After her conversion to Christ in 1999, she said she came to see the sinfulness of having any identity apart from Him.  ... (click for more)

St. Elmo Woman, 45, Dies At County Workhouse On Wednesday Night; Investigation Underway

An inmate died at the county workhouse at Silverdale on Wednesday night, and an investigation is underway.   She was identified as  Dana Shunice Palmer, 45, of St. Elmo.   Ms. Palmer was booked into the Hamilton County Jail from the Chattanooga Police Department on Feb. 14 on a public Intoxication charge. She was transferred from the jail to CoreCivic ... (click for more)

Walker County Will Not Seek Land For Durham Railroad Trail From Couple Who Sought To Block It

Walker County, Ga., under a new administration, will not seek to condemn land from a couple along a proposed public trail on the old Chickamauga to Durham Railroad. Former County Attorney Don Oliver, who supported the trail idea, in the waning days of the Bebe Heiskell administration went to court to condemn property in the name of Stanley Lowe and Jill Wyse at the community ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ed Chief ‘Embarrassed’

At the start of the school year in September, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen held an “educational summit” with state legislators from embattled Hamilton County. The entire “summit” took a prescribed 90 minutes and was such a dog-and-pony show her strongest statement was, "Create your plan around the right vision, have some metrics and align to the right ... (click for more)