Oklahoma Republicans have a novel idea for how to fix the Advance Placement (AP) history tests they deem unpatriotic: more Ronald Reagan.
For the state’s history students, the former president and GOP icon could soon be a fundamental portion of U.S. history education under a new bill proposed by state Republicans who are seeking to make the tests — studied by students nationally — more patriotic.
Republican Oklahoma Rep. Dan Fisher has proposed a bill that would yank state funding from the AP history course and develop a new advanced U.S. history curriculum based, in part, on three Reagan speeches.
Fisher — a pastor who was elected in 2013 — lists texts he believes should be the focus of students’ educations. The “foundational and historical” texts the 10-page bill details include some obvious choices — the Constitution and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” for example — but it also emphasizes the Ten Commandments, two sermons, three speeches by Reagan, and President George W. Bush’s address to the nation after the 9/11 attacks.
Fisher said Tuesday that, after it was revised last year, the AP course has “a new emphasis on what is bad about America.”
Oklahoma isn’t alone: A handful of conservative legislatures have begun adding religious and conservative texts into their curriculum in recent years and many have objected to the revised AP U.S. history curriculum. The Republican National Committee even condemned the new course as a “radically revisionist view of American history.”
One of the key opponents to the new framework, the American Principles Project’s Jane Robbins joined All In With Chris Hayes on Wednesday to advocate for the Oklahoma bill; she said the new AP framework has a “a very leftist lens” that misleads kids about the greatness of the nation.
Asked whether including the founding fathers’ white supremacist views was “leftist,” Robbins said that point is objectionable because “the country was founded on so much more than that” and was “revolutionary for humanity.”