The way American History has been taught in schools has changed considerably over time, and now is new battle is unfolding. Recently, a group of lawmakers in the state of Oklahoma disagreed with the Advanced Placement U.S. history guidelines that were revised by the College Board. This is the organization that oversees the entire AP program nationwide, not just U.S. history courses. But just what exactly did the lawmakers take issue with? The fact that courses would not focus on the role Christianity has played in the nation’s history and American exceptionalism in general.
The A.P courses typically take a more neutral approach, simply teaching students about the events that took place without putting any type of spin or opinion on them. Some lawmakers in the state objected to that, which led to a Republican State Representative, Dan Fisher, introducing a bill that would have the Board of Education change the entire history program, beginning next fall.
Some of the more controversial elements of this new program would involve teaching students about certain documents like the Ten Commandments, despite having little to do with U.S. history. After receiving backlash both from people within the state and nationwide, Fisher has decided to drop the proposal.
But just because this proposal is dead doesn’t mean others couldn’t pop up, and it does lead to the question, “who really controls U.S. history?” If one lawmaker and one bill could radically change the history that is taught to our children, how do we make sure that future generations learn and understand what has happened in the past?
This surely won’t be the last time we see something like this happen, but we can only hope lawmakers won’t allow their personal beliefs to interfere with historic fact.