The chickens are coming home to roost after 50 years of complacency about the left’s takeover of higher education.
The really bad news is that it may be too late to reverse our cultural suicide after decades of neglect of the corruption of our educational institutions.
That is the sobering lesson from the many battlefields where local school boards are trying to challenge the College Board’s new Advance Placement U.S. History curriculum (widely known as APUSH). The academic establishment is mobilizing energetic support for the College Board’s new design for teaching our nation’s heritage, while state boards of education and the Republican establishment sit largely silent.
Conservatives must wake up and face the fact that these “local school board battles” are no longer local in any real sense: The full force of the teachers unions and national liberal establishment is mobilized to help paint any local school board that shows any backbone as right-wing yokels trying to “censor” freedom of thought and subvert educational excellence.
This past week the newly elected majority of the Jefferson County, Colorado, school board was the target of coordinated attacks led by the teachers union as it prepared to consider a plan to review the College’s Board’s radically new APUSH curriculum. The national ACLU and six other left-oriented groups joined the battle and endorsed student protests. The board had the courage to proceed with its plans despite the onslaught, but the battle is far from over.
It is both unfortunate and alarming that only one school board out of Colorado’s 150 school districts is openly challenging the new AP U.S. History Framework. Hundreds of college-bound students in the state’s 300 high schools take AP courses each year. If they sign up for the AP U.S. History course, they will be taught a very negative, guilt-ridden view of our history, our heritage and our institutions. Moreover, the PTA will join the teachers unions in applauding this planned denigration of our heritage.
How did we arrive at this sad state of affairs, where it is more “mainstream” to hold decidedly leftist views of our heritage and see “patriot” as a slightly pejorative term? We know this is Obama’s and Hillary’s worldview, but it comes as a shock to many citizens that this is now the conventional wisdom in the university establishment generally.
The self-proclaimed aim of the College Board’s redesign of the AP U.S. History curriculum is to shape high school history instruction in the image of collegiate history instruction. What they mean by that is not simply that high school students capable of doing college-level work should learn how to think of history in more conceptual, thematic ways and not simply as a collection of dates and events. In itself, that goal is admirable and not ideologically driven. However, the content given to those “themes” in the new AP U.S. History curriculum is a different matter.
We can put the issue of the AP U.S. History curriculum in proper perspective by asking and answering this question: Is the College Board acting as a rogue elephant in rewriting American history to reflect a neo-Marxian worldview of America’s accomplishments and sins – or is it simply codifying and institutionalizing the conventional wisdom in the academic community?
If you believe the former, then you can look upon these battles as local eruptions and passing irritants. But if you understand that the College Board’s redesign of American history instruction is actually representative of the intellectual worldview of America’s higher education establishment, then you understand that this is a battle for America’s soul.
The vast scope of our problem in American public education is revealed not so much by the neo-Marxist character of the themes emphasized in the new AP U.S. History curriculum. The depth of the problem is revealed by how non-controversial those radical themes are in our university faculty lounges. Now the College Board is planning to make that hyper-progressive worldview the conventional wisdom in high school teachers’ lounges and high school student council meetings as well.
Most citizens know instinctively that something is wrong with this picture, but engagement and leadership from libertarian and conservative groups like the tea party, Republican Women’s clubs, veterans organizations and civic groups like the Lions and Kiwanis is sorely missing. Tragically, complicity through complacency continues to be the order of the day in American education.
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