NGSS Gets in Through Back Doors
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been adopted by 13 states and the District of Columbia for K-12 students. They could face a tough road after the failure of the Common Core math and English standards to satisfy many parents, legislators, students, and teachers. But the science standards are sneaking into districts in states that have not approved them due to the work of science teachers who align with the premises of the standards.
Some say the Next Generation Science Standards are not only inadequate to fully educate students but they are politicized by focusing on manmade climate change and evolution. Even young students are encouraged to believe and act in a manner that is sometimes contrary to established science and might misalign with their family beliefs.
As former Wall Street energy research analyst Paul Tice writes in the Wall Street Journal:
“While publicly billed as the result of a state-led process, the new science standards rely on a framework developed by the Washington, D.C.- based National Research Council. That is the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences that works closely with the federal government on most scientific matters.”
Tice says much of the curriculum being used to teach Next Generation Science Standards comes directly from the federal government. He says, the “Environmental Protection Agency has an array of ready-to-download climate-change primers for classroom use by teachers, including handouts on the link between carbon dioxide and average global temperatures and tear sheets on the causal relationship between greenhouse-gas emissions and rising sea levels.” Similar online curriculum is available from the Dept. of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
One federally provided module requires “students to measure the size of their family’s carbon footprint and come up with ways to shrink it.” (Wall Street Journal, 5-27-15)
While some scientists question the accuracy of the computer simulations that are used to predict global warming, the National Research Council accepts them as “settled science.” This is reflected in the Next Generation Science Standards, which demand of students “that by the end of Grade 5, [they] should appreciate that rising average global temperatures will affect the lives of all humans and other organisms on the planet; by Grade 8, [they] should understand that the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels is a major factor in global warming; and by Grade 12, [they] should know that global climate models are very effective in modeling, predicting, and managing the current and future impact of climate change.”
Local School Boards Jump In, While States Deliberate
Education Week reports that where NGSS have not been adopted, “Some districts are jumping the gun on their states and starting to bring the new standards to classrooms as soon as possible. In many cases, science teachers themselves have led this charge.” In Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania, some school districts are teaching in alignment with the new standards, although those states may never choose to teach them.
A senior vice president of Achieve says, “In states that we know are going to struggle with adoption because of current Common Core issues or legislative issues, it’s neat to hear teachers in the districts saying we’re going to do this on our own.” Achieve was involved in the development and promotion of the NGSS, and is the same Washington-based group that helped create Common Core math and English standards.
Teachers are adding elements of NGSS to their science curriculum in Wyoming, a state where the NGSS are controversial. The Wyoming legislature passed a now-rescinded law to ban adoption of the NGSS standards. The state hasn’t adopted NGSS, yet fifteen Wyoming school districts are using the new standards. (Education Week, 5-6-15)
Informational meetings were held in five locations in Utah, as the state’s Office of Education (USOE) decides whether to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards. The USOE is supposedly soliciting parents’ feedback during a 90-day review period, but many parents think their opinion doesn’t matter and that the USOE has decided to adopt the NGSS.
Wendy Hart, Board Member of the Alpine School District, the largest in Utah, wrote a letter to the Utah School Board that includes the following points:
“Do the standards seek to obtain compliance of thought, instead of an understanding of the rationale and disagreements involved in controversial or politically charged issues? This is especially important in science. If we create a generation of students who believe that all science is not to be questioned, we have failed in our task. Science is always to be questioned, and refined. We should be constantly looking for ways to support or to disprove the current knowledge of the day.”(WhatIsCommonCore.wordpress.com, 5-8-15)
Not Approved by Fordham
Nine scientists and mathematicians reviewed the content, rigor, and clarity of the NGSS for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The Fordham Institute is strongly in support of Common Core standards for math and English, but they gave NGSS an overall grade of “C,” listing the following major problems with the science standards:
1. The NGSS “never explicitly require some content in early gradesthat is then assumed in subsequent standards.”
2. The standards attempt “to put a ceiling on the content and skills that will be measured at each grade,” [which] may limit what is taught by the exclusion of content that more advanced students can learn.
3. The standards fail “to include essential math content that is critical to science learning.” Particularly in physics and chemistry, “the standards seem to assiduously dodge the mathematical demands inherent in the subjects covered.”
4. The “confusing presentation of the standards, combined with vague and poorly worded expectations, earns the NGSS a 1.5 out of 3 for clarity and specificity.”
The Fordham reviewers found that the hands-on activities required by NGSS — and the resulting focus on students “performing” at the expense of “memorizing” — “paid too little attention to the knowledge base that makes those practices both feasible and worthwhile.”
The Heartland Institute questions whether educators learned anything from the Common Core fiasco in a June 3, 2015 post titled “Common Core Battle Apparently Meant Nothing.” They chastise states that have adopted NGSS and caution those considering them. They say, “That state officials don’t think children need core academic content in science, while showing little concern for NGSS replacing core content with political indoctrination, tells everyone all they need to know.”
Court Rules Yoga Is Religious and OK in Schools
The Ashtanga Yoga program will continue for K-6th grade students in the Encinitas School District (EUSD) in California. Children will still do yoga during physical education classes after a ruling by the California Court of Appeals in San Diego, although the judges noted that the Ashtanga yoga performed by kids promotes “union with the universal or the divine.”
According to the National Center for Law & Policy, which represents parents who object to yoga classes, “the Encinitas Union School District prevailed in their argument that they had changed or removed enough of the religious elements from their yoga program, so that the physical education classes were purportedly not unlawfully promoting religion in the public schools.”
Parents and the National Center for Law & Policy will not pursue the issue further in court but have set up a website in hopes of educating parents about the religious and metaphysical aspects of yoga and the harm yoga can inflict on children. The website is TruthAboutYoga.com.
In 2012 at Encinitas schools, two-thirds of K-6 physical education classes were Ashtanga Yoga. The National Center for Law & Policy says that the sun salutation, Surya Namaskar, is “devotional sun worship, including bowing, praying hands and lifting one’s hands in worship to the sun [and] is objectively religious [so] should not be treated any more favorably than Bible reading or prayer, even if EUSD is not teaching the children the supporting theology behind the Hindu rituals.”
The Sonima Foundation, “a yoga-promoting organization with links to the activity’s religious history” (previously known as the Jois Foundation), gave the Encinitas School district $3.3 million to fund yoga in schools. The superintendent of the Encinitas School District is a member of the advisory board of the Sonima Foundation. The Foundation “is already targeting other school districts with grant money.” (WND.com, 6-12-15; TruthAboutYoga.com)
Activist Professor’s Nude Final Exam
For the past 11 years, University of California at San Diego students who take an art class taught by Professor Ricardo Dominguez perform their final exam nude, in a candlelit room, along with other students and their nude professor. The class is Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self.
Nude classroom performance is one of several “gestures” or “performance pieces,” assigned by Dominguez in the course. Others include “describing their lives without using words” and “using trash found on campus to create a ritual.”
The school says students are told during the first days of the class about the nude assignment and are given the opportunity to request a different way to express their “creativity,” but most don’t choose that option. Prof. Dominguez told a local television station, “If they are uncomfortable with this gesture they should not take the class.”
In an effort to explain the assignment, Dominguez says, “I hope in the end that through these gestures, the artists will locate in one of them a sort of radical rethinking of what their aesthetic research and logic had been and what it might be afterward.” He continues, “They might be a sculptor, painter, new media artist, and they might find their body’s involvement in the work itself elicits or brings to the foreground something that might have already been lurking in their work, and making it somewhat more available,”
As to why the 55-year-old professor is also nude, Dominguez says, “For 11 years, all the students have voted that they’d rather not have me sitting around clothed while they do that particular gesture.”
The public became aware of the nude performance aspect of the class at the California public university when one student’s mother contacted the media.
The parent and her student were never identified, but the nude class assignment gained worldwide media attention.
The public spotlight is not new for Dominguez, who is also a political activist whose specialty is “electronic civil disobedience.” He and his fellow activists use technology to block websites as a means to support causes such as illegal immigration and the Zapatista movement in Mexico. According to the L.A. Times, Dominguez’ “projects [are] political statements meant to agitate.” In 2010, he was the target of probes examining whether his work improperly uses public funds and violates security laws.
U.C. San Diego administrators say there are no plans to change the class syllabus, that the nudity will continue, and that they are in support of the professor. (L.A. Times, 5-7-10; ABC-KGTV, 5-12-15; Union Tribune, 5-16-15; Sun Times, 5-18-15)
Transgender-Focused Books for Schoolchildren
In August, Scholastic Press publishers will release a new book by an author that “identifies as genderqueer,” meaning the individual “falls outside of the male/female binary, and goes by the pronoun ‘they.’” The book is titled George, and is for middle-school readers.
George is about “a boy who knows he is a girl but doesn’t know how to tell his family and friends.” George seeks to reveal the identity issue to classmates by trying out for a female part in a school play. Scholastic Press “sent 10,000 early copies to teachers around the country to get feedback and the responses were largely positive, with some mixed reactions.” The publisher “increased the first printing to 50,000 from 35,000, based on strong preorders.”
The New York Times reports that “some teachers and librarians question whether third and fourth graders are ready for the discussion” of transgenderism, but Scholastic “is aiming to turn the book into a mainstream success.”
The vice president of Scholastic Press states:
“In our culture, [transgenderism] was really something that was in the shadows, but suddenly people are talking about it. As our culture is starting to acknowledge transgender people and acknowledge that they are part of the fabric of who we are, literature is reflecting that.”
In 2014, Disney Hyperion published Gracefully Grayson, aimed at readers ages 10 and up, about a sixth-grade boy who “feels like a girl.”
Ranked at the number two spot of Amazon’s book classification “Children’s Tolerance” is I am Jazz, a picture book written for 4- to 8-year-olds and published by Simon & Schuster. The description reads: “From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. . . . This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way.”
But not all doctors would agree with Jazz’s doctor. Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, writing in the Wall Street Journal in response to recent transgender controversies covered by the media, says “that transgenderism is a ‘mental disorder’ that merits treatment, that sex change is ‘biologically impossible,’ and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.” Dr. McHugh writes “that studies show between 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings ‘spontaneously lose those feelings over time.’”
Dr. McHugh cites “a new study showing that the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people.” Johns Hopkins University Hospital has stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery.
The publishing world and many educators are embracing this new genre of literature for young readers. (New York Times, 6-7-15; CNSNews.com, 6-2-15)
Over a year ago, NYU professor of education and author Diane Ravitch called for a Congressional investigation of Bill Gates and Common Core, saying, “The idea that the richest man in America can purchase and — working closely with the U.S. Department of Education — impose new and untested academic standards on the nation’s public schools is a national scandal.” She says, “We now know that one very rich man bought the enthusiastic support of interest groups on the left and right to campaign for the Common Core.” Congress has done nothing about what Ravitch calls “one unelected man, underwriting dozens of groups and allied with the Secretary of Education, whose staff was laced with Gates’ allies.” (Washington Post, 6-9-14)
A distinguished Long Island high school principal is “stepping down as a formal protest against the government-mandated Common Core practices,” after 15 years on the job. Dr. Carol Burris, who originally supported Common Core, observed the negative consequences they have on students and now says that Common Core is not developmentally appropriate and ultimately will turn students against learning. Burris is particularly critical of the federally mandated tests, which 200,000 New York students refused to take this spring. (IJReview.com, 5-3-15)
Although the majority of young men who started school at Verbum Dei High School in the Watts section of Los Angeles entered one to two years below grade level, upon graduation this spring every senior has been accepted to college. And 2015 is not a fluke; the all-boys Jesuit school has achieved this goal for eight years in a row. Seventy economically disadvantaged graduates, most of whom are the first in their family to attend college, thrive in the school’s environment and feel well-prepared for college. The school provides rigorous course work in college preparatory classes during a four-day school week and offers job experience to students.
Book of the Month
The Long War and Common Core: Everything You Need to Know to Win the War!
by Donna H. Hearne, Freedom Basics Press, 2015, $10.00
“Common Core is the latest effort by a progressive, autocratic elite to completely transfer all decisions concerning children from parents, teachers, and school boards to themselves, and to completely transform America from a nation of responsible, moral, independent human beings endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to robots and servants of the state,” according to author Donna Hearne. Those elites include “big government businessmen, media, education think tanks, and labor organizations.”
Common Core is the latest in an incremental and “long war” against local control of education; it is a war out to destroy American freedom. Hearne examines the chief players that wrote, promoted, and schemed to make Common Core, the mandated tests, and the invasive data collection a reality for millions of schoolchildren.
Those who read this book will become familiar with the dangerous activities of Achieve, the NGA, the CCSSO, PARCC, SBAC, United Nations Agenda 21 advocates, and others involved in the takeover of American public education.
Readers will learn that Common Core is:
• Not state-led or controlled. (The feds dictate the terms.)
• Not voluntary. (States lose federal dollars if they fail to comply.)
• Essentially a curriculum because schools will teach to the federal tests.
• Is funded and enforced by the federal government and its “crony elites.”
Diverse groups in America that once shared an identity founded “on commitment to the values of individual liberty, dignity, and equality” have been thrust asunder by a school system that has encouraged the development of multicultural identities based on grievances against the nation.
The purpose of education has changed from reading, arithmetic, history, and acquiring actual knowledge to “values clarification” and indoctrination, including the sexualization of students through sex education and the normalization of inappropriately sexual literature. Yet the Bible is “off limits” and schools focus on a “toxic worldview devoid of a loving God.”
Hearne warns against Common Core-mandated student data collection, saying, “When data becomes the major determining point of advancing through life, those that control the data rule supreme.”
Chapter eight lists “solutions” that include state legislative provisions to end funding of Common Core implementation and testing.
Here Come the Feds, Again
Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democrat Senator Patty Murray negotiated and unanimously led passage out of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, a bill that would reauthorize No Child Left Behind law. Senate bill 1177, the “Every Child Achieves Act,” is over 600 pages long and conservatives believe it leaves in place, and in some cases increases, meddlesome aspects of federal intervention in education. Although some hail the Congressional action as positive and bipartisan, saying it will result in less federal interference in education, smart observers are cautious.
The bill that the full Senate is expected to address after the July 4th recess says that schools must test 95% of students, that states must submit “accountability plans” to the U.S. Secretary of Education, who could reject them, and adds some troubling new provisions.
Under S. 1177, states could compete for grants if they expand and strengthen their preschool programs. This is similar to the Race to the Top competition, the federal carrot held out to states to encourage them to adopt Common Core. This new scheme, called the “early learning alignment and improvement grants,” would obligate states to continue funding expanded preschool programs after federal grants expire. The likely outcome is more children attending Head Start programs, which studies prove fail to help children succeed in school, and with state taxpayers left on the hook to fund failure.
S. 1177 also puts heavy emphasis on “school climate” and anti-bullying programs. No one wants children bullied at school for any reason and programs to stop bullying can be positive. But the programs actually used in schools are often about promoting lifestyles, not about protecting children. They focus on teaching about “alternative lifestyles” favored by the teachers unions and the federal government, which have a gay, lesbian, and transgender rights focus.
Parents and concerned citizens should keep a sharp eye on what comes next as Congress attempts to further fiddle with local control of education, even though their past attempts have mostly been abject failures. Special attention should be given to any new provisions that might seek federal control over homeschool families or private schools. The direction Congress should consider is the abolition of No Child Left Behind law. It would also behoove them, or a 2016 Presidential candidate, to establish a workable plan to gradually, but certainly, dismantle the U.S. Department of Education.
FOCUS: Opposing the 2014 APUSH Framework
This June 2, 2015 letter is in opposition to the new Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) course. It was written by an ad hoc committee of historians, and many“academic historians, scholars in closely allied disciplines and independent scholars who have an established record of relevant publication” have signed and are continuing to sign it. The National Association of Scholars provided logistical support for this initiative, but is neither the author of nor a signatory to the letter. As of June 15, 2015, 56 “Scholars Concerned About Advanced Placement History” signed the letter. The full list of signatories can be seen at NAS.org. Reprinted with permission.
The teaching of American history in our schools faces a grave new risk, from an unexpected source. Half a million students each year take the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in U.S. History. The framework for that exam has been dramatically changed, in ways certain to have negative consequences.
We wish to express our opposition to these modifications. The College Board’s 2014 Advanced Placement Examination shortchanges students by imposing on them an arid, fragmentary, and misleading account of American history. We favor instead a robust, vivid, and content-rich account of our unfolding national drama, warts and all, a history that is alert to all the ways we have disagreed and fallen short of our ideals, while emphasizing the ways that we remain one nation with common ideals and a shared story.
The Advanced Placement exam has become a fixture in American education since its introduction after the Second World War, and many colleges and universities award credits based on students’ AP scores. In fact, for many American students the AP test effectively has taken the place of the formerly required U.S. history survey course in colleges and universities, making its structure and contents a matter of even greater importance from the standpoint of civic education. Many of these students will never take another American history course. So it matters greatly what they learn in their last formal encounter with the subject.
Educators and the public have been willing to trust the College Board to strike a sensible balance among different approaches to the American past. Rather than issuing detailed guidelines, the College Board has in the past furnished a brief topical outline for teachers, leaving them free to choose what to emphasize. In addition, the previous AP U.S. History course featured a strong insistence on content, i.e., on the students’ acquisition of extensive factual knowledge of American history.
But with the new 2014 framework, the College Board has put forward a lengthy 134-page document which repudiates that earlier approach, centralizes control, de-emphasizes content, and promotes a particular interpretation of American history. This interpretation downplays American citizenship and American world leadership in favor of a more global and transnational perspective. The College Board has long enjoyed an effective monopoly on advanced placement testing. The changes made in the new framework expose the danger in such a monopoly. The result smacks of an “official” account of the American past. Local, state, and federal policymakers may need to explore competitive alternatives to the College Board’s current domination of advanced-placement testing.
The new framework is organized around such abstractions as “identity,” “peopling,” “work, exchange, and technology,” and “human geography,” while downplaying essential subjects, such as the sources, meaning, and development of America’s ideals and political institutions, notably the Constitution. Elections, wars, diplomacy, inventions, discoveries — all these formerly central subjects tend to dissolve into the vagaries of identity-group conflict. The new framework scrubs away all traces of what used to be the chief glory of historical writing — vivid and compelling narrative — and reduces history to an bloodless interplay of abstract and impersonal forces. Gone is the idea that history should provide a fund of compelling stories about exemplary people and events. No longer will students hear about America as a dynamic and exemplary nation, flawed in many respects, but whose citizens have striven through the years toward the more perfect realization of its professed ideals. The new version of the test will effectively marginalize important ways of teaching about the American past, and force American high schools to teach U.S. history from a perspective that self-consciously seeks to de-center American history and subordinate it to a global and heavily social-scientific perspective.
There are notable political or ideological biases inherent in the 2014 framework, and certain structural innovations that will inevitably result in imbalance in the test, and bias in the course. Chief among these is the treatment of American national identity. The 2010 framework treated national identity, including “views of the American national character and ideas about American exceptionalism” as a central theme. But the 2014 framework makes a dramatic shift away from that emphasis, choosing instead to grant far more extensive attention to “how various identities, cultures, and values have been preserved or changed in different contexts of U.S. history with special attention given to the formation of gender, class, racial, and ethnic identities.” The new framework makes a shift from “identity” to “identities.” Indeed, the new framework is so populated with examples of American history as the conflict between social groups, and so inattentive to the sources of national unity and cohesion, that it is hard to see how students will gain any coherent idea of what those sources might be. This does them, and us, an immense disservice.
We believe that the study of history should expose our young students to vigorous debates about the nature of American exceptionalism, American identity, and America’s role in the world. Such debates are the warp and woof of historical understanding. We do not seek to reduce the education of our young to the inculcation of fairy tales, or of a simple, whitewashed, heroic, even hagiographical nationalist narrative. Instead, we support a course that fosters informed and reflective civic awareness, while providing a vivid sense of the grandeur and drama of its subject.
A formal education in American history serves young people best by equipping them for a life of deep and consequential membership in their own society. The College Board’s 2014 framework sadly neglects this essential civic purpose of education in history. We can, and must, do better.
Biased Statements in the New APUSH Framework
by Larry Krieger
A version of this was originally published on August 19, 2014 by the Heartland Institute at Heartland.org and is reprinted with permission.
The College Board claims that its redesigned Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) Framework provides teachers and their students with “balanced” coverage of American history. But a growing chorus of parents, concerned citizens, journalists, and academic historians disagree.
Here is a list of 29 statements reprinted from the College Board Framework. These statements offer compelling evidence that the Framework provides a biased and deeply flawed view of the American experience. Page numbers refer to the APUSH Framework and the “note” following some is an explanation of the inadequacy and agenda-driven bias of what the College Board proposes students be taught.
1. Teachers can explore the roots of the modern environmental movement in the Progressive Era and New Deal, as well as debate the underlying and proximate causes of environmental catastrophes arising from pesticide use and offshore oil drilling. (Pages 12 – 13)
2. Many Europeans developed a belief in white superiority to justify their subjugation of Africans and American Indians, using several different rationales. (Page 35)
3. Unlike Spanish, French, and Dutch colonies, which accepted intermarriage and cross-racial sexual unions with native peoples (and, in Spain’s case, with enslaved Africans), English colonies attracted both males and females who rarely intermarried with either native peoples or Africans, leading to the development of a rigid racial hierarchy. (Page 36)
4. Reinforced by a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority, the British system enslaved black people in perpetuity, altered African gender and kinship relationships in the colonies and was one factor that led the British colonists into violent confrontations with native peoples. (Page 36)
5. The New England colonies, founded primarily by Puritans, seeking to establish a community of like-minded religious believers, developed a close-knit, homogeneous society and — aided by favorable environmental conditions — a thriving mixed economy of agriculture and commerce. (Page 37. Note that this is the Framework’s sole statement about the New England colonies. It omits the Pilgrims, Mayflower Compact, Winthrop’s“City Upon a Hill,” Roger Williams and religious toleration, New England town meetings, the birth of democratic institutions, and much more.)
6. The demographically, religiously, and ethnically diverse middle colonies supported a flourishing export economy based on cereal crops . . . (Page 37. Note that this is the Framework’s sole statement about the Middle Colonies. It omits William Penn, the Quakers, Pennsylvania policy of religious toleration and the fact that its economic prosperity attracted a diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups.)
7. The colonies along the southern-most Atlantic coast and the British islands in the West Indies took advantage of long growing seasons by using slave labor to develop economies based on staple crops; in some cases, enslaved Africans constituted the majority of the population. (Page 38. Note that slavery is the sole focus. This omits the House of Burgesses, the Maryland Act of Religious Toleration, and much more.)
8. European colonization efforts in North America stimulated cultural contact and intensified conflict between the various groups of colonizers and native peoples. (Page 38. Note that this “Key Concept” establishes the Framework’s dominant theme that American history is really the story of identity groups and conflicts.)
9. By supplying American Indian allies with deadlier weapons and alcohol, and by rewarding Indian military actions, Europeans helped increase the intensity and destructiveness of American Indian warfare. (Page 39. Note the Europeans are portrayed as destructive predators.)
10. The presence of slavery and the impact of colonial wars stimulated the growth of ideas on race in this Atlantic system, leading to the emergence of racial stereotyping and the development of strict racial categories among British colonists, which contrasted with Spanish and French acceptance of racial gradations. (Page 40)
11. Although George Washington’s Farewell Address warned about the dangers of divisive political parties and permanent foreign alliances, European conflict and tensions with Britain and France fueled increasingly bitter partisan debates throughout the 1790s. (Page 44. This is the Framework’s sole reference to George Washington.)
12. The colonists’ belief in the superiority of republican self-government based on the natural rights of the people found its clearest American expression in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and in the Declaration of Independence. (Page 44. This is the Framework’s sole reference to the Declaration of Independence. Note that it actually follows Washington’s Farewell Address. Although the Framework stresses the skill of historical causation, the document contains numerous examples of events that are not presented in chronological order.)
13. Teachers have the flexibility to use examples such as the following: corridos, architecture of Spanish missions, vaqueros. (Page 47. Note that the Framework does have space for these topics but cannot find the space to discuss Washington’s career and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.)
14. Many white Americans in the South asserted their regional identity through pride in the institution of slavery, insisting that the federal government should defend their institution. (Page 50)
15. Resistance to initiatives for democracy and inclusion included pro-slavery arguments, rising xenophobia, anti-black sentiments in political and popular culture, and restrictive anti-Indian policies. (Page 50. Note that the Framework omits both Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy. This biased statement reinforces the Framework’s consistently negative portrayal of the American experience.)
16. The U.S. sought dominance over the North American continent through a variety of means, including military actions, judicial decisions, and diplomatic efforts. (Page 53. This is how the Framework describes the Monroe Doctrine and the annexation of Texas.)
17. The idea of Manifest Destiny, which asserted U.S. power in the Western Hemisphere and supported U.S. expansion westward, was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority, and helped to shape the era’s political debates. (Page 55. Note that generations of American students have been taught that Manifest Destiny expressed America’s mission to spread its democratic institutions and technology across the continent. This revisionist definition clearly expresses the Framework’s negative biases.)
18. States rights, nullification, and racist stereotyping provided the foundation for the Southern defense of slavery as a positive good. (Page 57)
19. Lincoln’s election on a free soil platform . . . Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. (Page 58. These are the Framework’s sole references to President Lincoln. Note that the Framework omits Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.)
20. Business interests battled conservationists as the latter sought to protect sections of unspoiled wilderness through the establishment of national parks and other conservationist and preservationist measures. (Page 63. Note the one-sided portrayal of “business interests.” The Framework never uses the terms free enterprise or entrepreneur.)
21. As transcontinental railroads were completed, bringing more settlers west, U.S. military actions, the destruction of the buffalo, the confinement of American Indians to reservations, and assimilationist policies reduced the number of American Indians and threatened native culture and identity. (Page 64. The construction of the transcontinental railroads was a major American achievement. Note that it is portrayed in an entirely negative light.)
22. A number of critics challenged the dominant corporate ethic in the United States and sometimes capitalism itself, offering alternate visions of the good society through utopianism and the Social Gospel. (Page 65. Note that the Framework consistently negative portrayal of capitalism. This is the only time the term capitalism appears in the Framework.)
23. Although the American Expeditionary Force played a relatively limited role in the war . . . (Page 70. Note that this is how the Framework describes America’s contribution to the Allied cause in World War I.)
24. The mass mobilization of American society to supply troops for the war effort and a workforce on the home front ended the Great Depression and provided opportunities for women and minorities to improve their socioeconomic positions. Wartime experiences, such as the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values. (Page 71. Note that the Framework’s complete coverage of World War II is contained in these two sentences. The Framework completely omits all mention of American military commanders, battles, and the valor of our servicemen and women who ended the long night of Nazi oppression. Also note that the Framework completely omits the Holocaust.)
25. The United States sought to “contain” Soviet-dominated communism through a variety of measures, including military engagements in Korea and Vietnam. (Page 72. Note that the Framework covers both the Korean War and the Vietnam War in one sentence.)
26. Activists began to question society’s assumptions about gender and to call for social and economic equality for women and for gays and lesbians. (Page 74)
27. Teachers have the flexibility to use examples such as the following: Students for a Democratic Society, Black Panthers. (Page 75. Note that the Framework omits Rosa Parks and Dr. King, but does have room for the SDS and the Black Panthers.)
28. President Ronald Reagan, who initially rejected détente with increased defense spending, military action, and bellicose rhetoric, later developed a friendly relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, leading to significant arms reductions by both countries. (Page 79. Note that this is the Framework’s simplistic explanation for how and why the Cold War ended.)
29. Demographic changes intensified debates about gender roles, family structures, and racial and national identity. (Page 81. Note that this is the Framework’s concluding statement. The College Board authors then state that teachers have the flexibility to use examples such as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” debate.)
Seminal Documents Omitted from APUSH
1. The Mayflower Compact
2. The Northwest Ordinance
3. Federalist Paper Number 10
4. Frederick Douglass’s Independence Day Speech at Rochester
5. Excerpts from the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, and other Transcendentalist writers
6. Alexis de Tocqueville — excerpts from Democracy in America
7. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address
8. Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus”
9. Woodrow Wilson, “Peace Without Victory” speech
10. Theodore Roosevelt, “The New Nationalism” speech
11. Excerpts from Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath describing the Dust Bowl
12. Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The Four Freedoms” speech
13. Harry S. Truman, “The Truman Doctrine” speech
14. George Kennan, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”
15. John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address
16. Dr. King, “I Have a Dream” Speech and Letter from Birmingham City Jail
17. Lyndon B. Johnson, Speech to Congress on Voting Rights
Larry Krieger has had a long career as an AP teacher and author. He has taught in surban, rural, and suburban public schools for over 30 years.