U.S. News

Actions

Students Protest Colorado AP History Curriculum Changes

A Colorado county school board has incited mass protests after endorsing curriculum changes to promote patriotism.
Posted at 2:50 PM, Oct 04, 2014

Students at a Colorado school district are walking out of class over their school board's changes to Advanced Placement, or AP, history class curriculum.

The administrators of AP testing, the College Board, had recently changed its guidelines to focus on the U.S. in a global context, instead of focusing on the traditionally-taught major U.S. figures and events. But that's not what upset students.

The Jefferson County School Board then issued a resolution to review and revise these changed guidelines to "promote patriotism" and "condone civil disorder." 

As a result, hundreds protested, students organized walkouts of class and teachers participated in "sick outs" because they felt the board would be censoring American history. 

On Thursday, the school board agreed to hear from those apposed to the revisions in a heavily publicized board meeting. Students and parents expressed their concern that history not be censored and a petition of around 40,000 signatures was shown.

Board members in support of the curriculum revisions said the changes by College Board left out key American figures like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Benjamin Franklin, and that their revisions would promote patriotism. 

The school board ended up approving a compromise that took out the controversial language from the original curriculum changes, but protests have continued.

Many outlets have pointed to the board's conservative faction as a likely factor in why they decided to review the curriculum in the first place. 

Politics have definitely entered into the debate. The Republican National Committeecriticized College Board's changes in a resolution of its own, saying the curriculum promoted a negative view of U.S. history.

In Texas, the state Board of Educationhas already ordered schools to use the state curriculum instead of College Board's. 

And in Tennessee, state senators have introduced a proposal to examine College Board's curriculum and possibly make changes. 

All future Jefferson County school board meetings about AP history curriculum are set to be held in public.