A Fox News contributor thinks that a new framework for Advanced Placement U.S. History courses will cause students "to go sign up for ISIS."
When speaking at the Center for Security Policy's National Security Action Summit this week, Ben Carson, an author and retired neurosurgeon who provides commentary on Fox News, implied that the College Board's new course framework has an anti-American bias. Over the past few months, conservatives have rallied against the course's new framework, saying it shines an overly harsh light on American history and leaves out information about important historical figures. In August, the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution calling for a push against the course, claiming it "deliberately distorts and/or edits out important historical events."
Carson, who has said he will likely run for president in 2016, apparently agrees with the RNC resolution.
"There's only two paragraphs in there about George Washington ... little or nothing about Martin Luther King, a whole section on slavery and how evil we are, a whole section on Japanese internment camps and how we slaughtered millions of Japanese with our bombs," Carson said at the event.
He continued, "I think most people when they finish that course, they'd be ready to go sign up for ISIS ... We have got to stop this silliness crucifying ourselves."
In recent weeks, controversy surrounding the course has gained increased national attention, as hundreds of students from the Jefferson County School District in Colorado have staged ongoing protests after a conservative school board member proposed forming committees to review the course and make sure it properly promotes patriotism. Teachers in the district have also participated in numerous "sick-outs," where large groups called in sick to protest the proposal.
However, the College Board has repeatedly denied that the course belittles American history. Authors of the new framework -- a group of professors and teachers -- have said it is intentionally broad, so local districts have some freedom over instruction. They also said the new framework did not refer to specific historical leaders because "teachers have always understood the need to teach them."
"We had two key goals for the project. One was that the course meet the expectations of college and university history departments, so that the hard work of AP students on the AP Exam would continue to be rewarded with college credit and placement," says a recent open letter written by the framework's authors. "The other was that the course and exam allow teachers to go into depth about the most significant concepts of the course."
In another open letter, College Board President David Coleman said concerns about the framework "are based on a significant misunderstanding." After releasing a sample AP U.S. History exam, to complement the new course framework, he wrote, "People who are worried that AP U.S. History students will not need to study our nation's founders need only take one look at this exam to see that our founders are resonant throughout."
H/T Media Matters