In August, I received a disturbing note from a highly respected expert, Jane Robbins, of the American Principles Project. It described an assault on our best and brightest high school students who are taking Advanced Placement U.S. History. For most of the approximately 450,000 students, this will be their last exposure to American History.
The College Board was responsible for this. Under the new leadership of David Coleman, who has no actual experience in education other than being Arne Duncan’s college roommate and crafting the Common Core agenda and standards, the College Board has blossomed into the Trojan horse for the delivery of the propaganda of the left.
The College Board controls the Scholastic Aptitude Test, (SAT) the GED, and now, curricular materials of all types which is all now aligned to Common Core. Most college bound students take the SAT and the GED is used to graduate from high school.
Where “choice” had been a successful key to tailoring education to the individual needs of students, the new buzz words are “Standards and Accountability.” Religious schools, charter schools and even Home School students are channeled into Common Core if they wish to matriculate to other schools or college as the new College Board tests are now aligned to Common Core and are distinctly different than past tests.
“You get what you reward” is part of the justification for the drive for accountability.
Teachers and administrators are now paid on the students’ results on these tests, so teaching to the test predominates. They are given scripted lessons which are “paced” so that all students are learning the same thing at the same time. Teachers are rebuked for attending to slower learners, so they are simply left behind. High achieving students can’t move ahead and become bored. Cheating scandals have broken out everywhere as high stakes tests determine pay.
Testing companies put cut scores high to purposely fail students at high rates, as every time they test, those companies get paid handsomely. By driving to electronic systems in schools, high tech companies eagerly joined to support common core. They also get to share in the vast wealth of data collection. Pearson PLC now dominates the market share in education with an approximate 80% share. They have purchased most of America’s textbook and education delivery companies. From the Wall Street Journal on line “Libya is Pearson’s fourth-biggest shareholder, according to LionShares. Pearson’s third biggest shareholder, with a 3.1% stake, is ABC Islamic Bank, a unit of the Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corp., which invests in accordance with Sharia law.”
Huffington Post in depth about Pearson:
Aside from money, there is another problem. Parents, school districts and even States have lost their control over content which is being driven by the College Board and unaccountable DC lobbying groups who have copyrighted the standards.
Lee County is the 34th largest school district in the country. The book that our district has chosen is “Out of Many”, the AP 6th Edition, by Pearson PLC. Even the College Board says this about this book:
“Teachers considering the purchase of Out of Many should be aware that the book has become part of the textbook culture wars. Traditionalists who want democracy and free enterprise presented more favorably are bothered by what they see as left-leaning texts that pay too much attention to the dark side of American history. These individuals put Out of Many in this category. Consequently, Out of Many has come under scrutiny, especially where state boards of education have the power to select and reject texts for use in the public schools.
Out of Many‘s greatest weakness is the lack of a bibliography to direct teachers to materials beyond the text. There is also very little historiography, and the book would certainly benefit from something like the Brinkley text’s “When Historians Disagree” segments.”
Here are a few choice quotes from this book, ”Ronald Reagan, a charismatic figure who sometimes created his own past and seemed to believe in it…”
“George Washington was anything but a man of the people.”
“All Indian women controlled their own bodies, were free to determine the timing of reproduction, and were free to use secret herbs to prevent pregnancy, induce abortion, or ease the pains of childbirth. All this was strikingly different from European patterns, in which the rule of men over women and fathers over households was thought to be the social ideal.”
There are absolutely no sources documents referenced anywhere in the over 1,200 pages. It is one large opinion piece and it is from the far left. Does this satisfy our Florida State statutory requirements for history? I think not:
The 2014 Florida Statutes
(a) The history and content of the Declaration of Independence, including national sovereignty, natural law, self-evident truth, equality of all persons, limited government, popular sovereignty, and inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property, and how they form the philosophical foundation of our government.
(b) The history, meaning, significance, and effect of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and amendments thereto, with emphasis on each of the 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights and how the constitution provides the structure of our government.
(c) The arguments in support of adopting our republican form of government, as they are embodied in the most important of the Federalist Papers.
(d) Flag education, including proper flag display and flag salute.
(e) The elements of civil government, including the primary functions of and interrelationships between the Federal Government, the state, and its counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts.
(f) The history of the United States, including the period of discovery, early colonies, the War for Independence, the Civil War, the expansion of the United States to its present boundaries, the world wars, and the civil rights movement to the present. American history shall be viewed as factual, not as constructed, shall be viewed as knowable, teachable, and testable, and shall be defined as the creation of a new nation based largely on the universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.
Upon reviewing the book, it is clear that the College Board has gone a “bridge too far” in promoting this course, which likely violates many other states statutes as well. The question remains, how can we get this out of our schools? How can we stop the blatant brainwashing of our best and brightest students?
The answer may lie in last year’s Florida legislation SB 864, which includes more local control, “requiring the district school board, rather than the commissioner, to conduct an independent investigation to determine the accuracy of district-adopted materials; authorizing the district school board, rather than the commissioner, to remove materials from the list of district-adopted materials…”
Parents of AP US History students, teachers and concerned citizens should bring this issue to the attention of their school boards across Florida and the nation to demand that this course be immediately halted and demand that the College Board substitute another instead which does comply with Florida law. Notice should be sent to the parents of students now taking this course of the potential that this course may not comply with State Law. Districts must challenge the state and the College Board for “boxing in” students who needed this course for college credits and demand solutions. Taxpayers are the customers of the College Board and will not tolerate the blatant disregard for the laws of our state and the needs of our students.
We must stand for our past NOW, or face a new kind of future without American Heroes, without individual freedom and the rule of law.