POLITICS

Oklahoma Legislators Move To Push AP U.S. History Courses Out Of Schools

02/18/2015 05:12 pm ET | Updated Feb 19, 2015

Oklahoma politicians are trying to ban Advanced Placement U.S. History courses from state classrooms, calling the course's recently updated framework unpatriotic.

On Monday, the Oklahoma House Common Education Committee voted 11-4 in support of a bill that, if signed into law, would prevent the state from providing funding for costs associated with AP U.S. History (APUSH) classes, according to the Tulsa World. The state will develop its own version of the class if the College Board -- the group that manages the national Advanced Placement Program -- does not make changes to the course, according to the proposed bill.

During Monday's legislative hearing, the bill's author, Republican Rep. Dan Fisher, said the course focuses on "what is bad about America," reports the Tulsa World. During the hearing, Fisher and Larry Krieger, a retired history teacher from North Carolina who is a leading opponent of the updated APUSH curriculum, said the framework also fails to realize the concept of "American exceptionalism."

Fisher did not respond to The Huffington Post's request for comment.

According to Trevor Packer, who leads the Advanced Placement program for the College Board, debate about the course has been "marred by misinformation."

"The redesigned AP U.S. History course framework includes many inspiring examples of American exceptionalism," Packer wrote in email. "Rather than reducing the role of the Founders, the new framework places more focus on their writings and their essential role in our nation's history, and recognizes American heroism, courage and innovation."

"[The] new AP U.S. History course framework ... was authored by, and has the overwhelming support of, AP U.S. History teachers and college-level U.S. history professors," Packer noted.

The new framework -- which emphasizes teaching historical themes and trends rather than specific events and figures -- gives teachers more freedom to cover important concepts in American history by acting as a broad outline, David Burton, the social studies department chairman at Southmoore High School in Moore, Oklahoma, told The Huffington Post.

"I actually think [the new framework] helps to elevate the positive things about American history," Burton said. "I do not in any way feel limited by it in teaching the wonderful story that is the United States."

In recent months, the new APUSH course framework -- which was introduced in classrooms this past fall -- has come under fire from conservative activists who say that it is rife with anti-American biases. In August the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution condemning the course. In an attempt to combat misinformation surrounding the class, the College Board released a sample exam associated with the course that month.

In May 2014, over 460,000 students throughout the country took the AP U.S. History exam.

Many Oklahoma citizens are fighting back against the idea that the AP class is harmful to students. A petition asking legislators not to ban AP classes had over 8,200 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier on HuffPost:

14 Outrageous Statements About The Common Core Standards
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