Monday, September 15, 2014

Slipping the Stiletto In: AP History

J.L. Bell who blogs at Boston 1775 has recently raised his head from his researches into Boston Revolutionary history to note the Republican's recent attack on revised Advanced Placement history standards.  His approach in past posts impresses me as fair and balanced.  Today he tackles a response to his criticism. Apparently there's some profit in writing guides on how to game the tests: don't worry about understanding history, just focus on the areas most often the subject of questions. Understandably changing the standards could require the guides to be revised, and if the standards make people think, rather than memorize, the guides might be less useful.

Anyhow, read the post, and I particularly savor the last paragraph and the last sentence as evidence that good manners and reasoned debate don't have to exclude the lethal thrust:
Krieger’s economic interest in seeing the A.P. U.S. History test stay the same for another few years is apparent, but that’s not necessarily what motivates his animus toward the new guidelines. Similarly, all evidence suggests that Thomas Hutchinson would have supported enforcing the Tea Act of 1773 even if he didn’t have thousands of pounds invested in his sons’ tea-importing business, and that George Washington would have supported U.S. expansion to the west even if he didn’t own vast tracts of land in those territories. Still, the conflation of public good and personal economic interests never looks good.

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