Could the most popular AP course disappear?

Sofia P.

Staff Writer

The most popular AP class in the entire country of the United States, AP United States History risks being taken away in Oklahoma and Georgia. The Georgia Senate voted on March 11th to consider banning AP US history (otherwise known as APUSH) statewide. This idea came with the revisions College Board has made recently to the course, and educators are afraid that it does have the possibility of going through.

The controversy began with the course changes College Board made in an attempt to get students to delve deeper into the details of American History as well as challenge them to take a more critical view when examining history. Dr. Krista Webb, AP World and AP United States History teacher, says, “The class is considered controversial because it examines the social aspects of American history and puts less emphasis on our political, economic, and military history as the course had previously done. Politicians fear that this new change is an unbalanced way of looking at history.” One of the primary concerns of politicians is that the course leans more towards one political party and teaches students to think with more of the “leftist” (Democrat) mentality. Sen. William Ligon of Georgia says the history exam is “a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.” Another concern is that some of the interpretations of the Founding Fathers, the Monroe Doctrine and foreign policy, in addition to the Judeo-Christian influence on the country’s creation as well as upbringing are inaccurately portrayed with the new course changes.

Many educators and students alike are hoping that Georgia will not join the bandwagon to ban AP US History. Austin Beyers, sophomore, says, “I don’t want the class to be canceled; this is a good educational opportunity for many students.” This course offers an excellent educational opportunity for higher level students. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a college course, students can take the course through their high school and take an AP exam which will give them college credit, if they pass, for only $91. Not only does this class save a great deal of money for students, it looks very impressive on college applications. Dr. Webb says, “If I could, I would tell the politicians to not throw out the baby with the bath water. If they have a problem with the way the class is being taught or of certain subjects that they think should be approached differently, they should talk to College Board to see if they can negotiate a change with them. But they should not ban the teaching of the class because it is such a great opportunity for students and should be open to them.” Right now in Georgia it is only APUSH that is at risk of being banned, but Sally Kern, Oklahoma state legislator, is now saying that the state of Oklahoma should consider banning all AP classes due to how they implement a national common core. Brianna Delvasto, sophomore, says, “I think that this legislation could affect the way Americans view their country, and it will be drastically different from the rest of the world.” Think of the harmful economic circumstances as well as the possible educational devastation that this could cause.

Texas recently changed their social studies curriculum to ignore major issues such as slavery as well as segregation. Kathy Miller, the leader of the Texas Freedom Networks, claims that Texas’s new textbooks have 100 full pages worth of errors. This could lead to a major hindrance in education for Texans and Georgians. With the new legislation having the potential of passing, it could eventually lead to not only an altering of textbooks, but an altering of what citizens consider to be American history.

Georgians should be very afraid of the impact that this legislation could do. It is a known fact that colleges are getting much more competitive, and it is becoming more and more difficult to be accepted into the ideal college. Imagine what the banning of AP classes would lead to. The advantage other out of state students would have on Georgia students would be devastating. There is currently a petition on Change.org to oppose this legislation, and there is always the option of contacting local representatives, but for now, all there is to do is watch and wait.

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