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College Board Excises Islam from European History Curricula

June 29, 2016

School Choice Weekly #142

Magnifying glass over Europe

The College Board sure picked an apropos time to release a revamp of its Advanced Placement European history (APEH) class. Among other things, the revamp excises the history of Islam’s clash with Christianity and the West, just as that conflict resurfaced in Orlando, Florida. As with AP U.S. history, the teacher guidelines have expanded dramatically, crucial information has gone missing, and history is reinterpreted through a politically progressive lens. For example, almost all religious history has been erased, and what remains has been reinterpreted as mere political power plays.

“While APEH strains to make free enterprise look as bad as possible and rightly condemns the cruelties of slavery, it obscures the evil and dysfunctionality of Communism,” Stanley Kurtz writes in National Review Online, citing an in-depth report on the new curricula guidelines from the National Association of Scholars.

“The almost complete excision of Islam’s 1400-year violent confrontation with Christendom also makes it almost impossible for students to understand that killings by modern jihadists fall squarely within the historical tradition of Islamic war,” report author David Randall told Breitbart. He and several other analysts, including Kurtz and the American Principles Project’s Jane Robbins, say it’s high time College Board begins to compete in the marketplace of ideas against better curricula.

“The College Board has proven it can’t be trusted to produce objective scholarship. Must we fight a lengthy battle with that monopoly every time it releases a new course framework? We need an alternative to the AP program – as soon as possible,” Robbins writes.

Kurtz nails why this matters:

That course is the closest most Americans will come to a class in what used to be called Western Civilization. And the new curriculum will shape textbooks, and the way in which all high school and college students are taught about our Western heritage for years to come.

Rightly understood, however, the NAS report also provides a profound explanation for today’s cultural and political headlines: the rise of secularism and the discrediting of religion; debunking hostility toward economic and political liberty; the rise of a soft form of Marxism; and the undermining of Western exceptionalism in a way that leaves even the West’s would-be defenders bereft of resources to make a stand. The contours of our education have become the contours of our politics.

SOURCES: Breitbart.com, National Association of Scholars, National Review Online, Townhall.com


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Author
Joy Pullmann is a research fellow on education policy for The Heartland Institute and managing editor of The Federalist, a web magazine on politics, policy, and culture.
jpullmann@heartland.org @JoyPullmann

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