Oklahoma AP history class under fire for omitting 'American exceptionalism'

An Oklahoma lawmaker is pushing a bill that calls for the state to ban Advanced Placement history classes in the state's public schools because -- among other issues — he claims the courses omit "American exceptionalism."

House Bill 1380 — which would ban funding Advanced Placement history courses — was introduced Monday by the bill's author, Republican State Rep. Dan Fisher, who said the current structure of Advanced Placement history courses focus on "what is bad about America," The Tulsa World reported.

The bill reportedly is seen as a first step in an attempt to ban all Advanced Placement courses in the state, with opponents of Advanced Placement claiming the program bares similarity to Common Core, a controversial K-12 program that seeks to set a national standard for teaching and testing Common Core and also links the distribution of federal education funds to states that adopt the standards.

The Oklahoma Legislature voted last year to opt out of Common Core and passed a law that required the state to set and administer its own education standards.

Advanced Placement courses -- which local school districts are not required to teach -- are certified by the College Board, a private entity, which also oversees their final exams. The courses are rigorous and enable high school students to earn college credit. In addition, college admissions offices tend to favor applications that include Advanced Placement courses.

Fisher's bill passed House Common Education Committee in a 11-4 vote, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats opposed.

Fisher's primary argument for the bill banning AP history courses was that they emphasize the wrongs about America.

But, in an editorial titled, "Effort to ban AP history in Oklahoma is ignorant," The Tulsa World argues that the courses allow smart high school students to study at a college level, and that the history courses teach the "full range of American history: the good, the bad and the exceptional."

"It's not a secret left-wing plot to inculcate American youth with seditious ideas, just a hard class for bright kids," the editorial read. The paper called on the state speaker of the house to prevent the bill from being brought to the floor.

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