Textbooks in a classroom at Hutto High School in Hutto, Texas on April 5, 2012.
Ben Sklar/The New York Times/Redux

Texas moves to veto AP history course

Updated

Texas has moved forward with efforts to veto a new advanced placement history course, following recent moves in other states where groups are also challenging academic curricula.

Conservatives have argued that there is an anti-American bias in the new AP U.S. history course and exam, which is new for the current academic year. Consequently, representatives in Texas decided to begin the process of requiring high school students to learn only state-mandated curriculum. The Associated Press first reported the story.

If the Board of Education approves the initiative, the students will not be taught to the national AP history test. Previously, the board passed a measure stating that the history curriculum can outdo the material covered in the framework for a nationwide AP history class.

Students finish AP classes with an examination that they can use results from to earn college credit at more than 3,300 universities around the world. The AP test was recently changed to downplay memorization for the test, and the new version will be administered nationwide for the first time next May near the end of academic terms.

The Republican National Committee last month denounced the nationwide College Board’s new framework for the AP U.S. history test because of its negative view of American history. As one example, members believed the program depicts American colonists as “oppressors and exploiters while ignoring the dreamers and innovators who built our country,” msnbc previously reported.

Related: RNC denounces high school history exams

The College Board appears to be taking the complaints seriously, but is defending the new curriculum. The authors of the course wrote in an open letter last week that people’s negative remarks about the framework “reflect either a misunderstanding of U.S. history or a very limited faith in history teachers’ command of their subject matter.”

“At the root of current objections to this highly regarded process is a blatant disregard for the facts. Despite the principled engagement and unwavering cooperation of the College Board in addressing concerns, the most vocal critics have prioritized their own agenda above the best interests of teachers, students, and their families,” the College Board wrote in an email to msnbc on Friday.

The redesigned AP history course, the board added, is highly supported by the history profession. The board won’t compromise on the integrity of the program.

The National Review also published a post this week, claiming that the College Board’s new curriculum “will effectively force American high schools to teach U.S. history from a leftist perspective.”

“The origins of the new AP U.S. History framework are closely tied to a movement of left-leaning historians that aims to ‘internationalize’ the teaching of American history. The goal is to ‘end American history as we have known it’ by substituting a more ‘transnational’ narrative for the traditional account,” Stanley Kurtz wrote Monday in the online magazine.

Also in Texas, a liberal group published a series of reports that found flaws in certain textbooks, msnbc previously reported. A conservative campaign to take over the state Board of Education rewrote standards, approved in 2010, that allows for such right-wing language with a political slant, including a suggestion that the racial caste system of Jim Crow sometimes wasn’t that big of a deal.

Previously in 2010, schools in Virginia distributed a new history book that published claims dismissed by historians that “thousands of southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks during the American Civil War.”

Education Policy, Higher Education, RNC and Texas

Texas moves to veto AP history course

Updated