An Oklahoma lawmaker filed a bill that would ban the current Advanced Placement United States History curriculum and replace it with one that taught “foundational documents” that include the Ten Commandments, numerous sermons, and three speeches by Reagan — but none by any Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson.
The bill’s sponsor, state representative Dan Fisher (R), told CNN that the problem with the current course is that, “in essence, we have a new emphasis on what is bad about America.”
The revised course, however, would replace a “robust analyses of gender and racial oppression and class ethnicity and the lives of marginalized people, where the emphasis on instruction is of America as a nation of oppressors and exploiters” with “an emphasis on America’s founding principles of Constitutional government.”
That emphasis would include teaching students Jonathan Edwards’ sermon “Sinners in the Hands of a Angry God,” the purpose of which is to remind the people that God may cast a sinner into Hell at any moment, so the best course of action is to accept Christ immediately. It would also include speeches by both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, which are included because of their “foundational” value — a standard no speeches by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama evidently met.
The current opposition to the AP curriculum originated with retired New Jersey history teacher Larry S. Krieger, whose language Rep. Fisher echoed in his comments to CNN.
Last year, Krieger told Newsweek that as he “read through the [AP] document, I saw a consistently negative view of American history that highlights oppressors and exploiters.” He acknowledge that the current curriculum is “historically true,” but argued that “progressives are going to be the heroes in this narrative.”
Rep. Fisher’s bill was approved by the state house’s Education committee an 11-4 margin.