An Oklahoma legislative committee voted this week to stop funding an Advanced Placement (AP) History course because it’s “anti-American,” and now the legislature is considering banning all AP courses because of their content, The Tulsa World is reporting.
Advanced Placement courses are taught in schools to allow college-bound kids the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school, according to Think Progress. The curricula for those courses are developed by College Board, a private organization that sells to schools the right to use the curricula. The Oklahoma vote bans using state funds to pay for the AP History curriculum developed by College Board.
The vote to withdraw funding for the curriculum was strictly along party lines (all Republicans on the committee voted in favor of withdrawing the AP History funding, all Democrats voted against it).
The committee member who called for the vote, Republican Representative Dan Fisher, said that the AP History course only taught “what is bad about America.” He also criticized the course for failing to teach “American exceptionalism” – that is, a notion held by many conservatives that the U.S. is objectively different from, if not better than, any other nation on Earth. (You can read a description of the course here.)
Fisher is a member a group calling itself The Black Robe Regiment, an organization that claims that it is the duty of Christians to determine the outcome of the political process.
“Through [the past century] the church and God himself has been under assault, marginalized, and diminished by the progressives and secularists. The false wall of separation of church and state has been constructed in such a manner that most are unaware of its limited boundaries. The church and the body of Christ has been attacked on all fronts and challenged by the progressive courts and groups such as the ACLU while we have sat idle in consent.”
Other conservatives in the Oklahoma legislature believe that the AP History funding ban doesn’t go far enough. Republican Sally Kern seems to have conflated Advanced Placement with Common Core (a controversial set of federal curriculum standards that Oklahoma has rejected), and is calling on Oklahoma’s Attorney General to ban all AP courses, in addition to Common Core.
“AP courses are similar to Common Core, in that they could be construed as an attempt to impose a national curriculum on American schools.”
Do you believe Oklahoma is in the right to withdraw funding for an AP History course that doesn’t meet its legislators’ standards? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Getty Images/Jeff J Mitchell]