While my recent posts have been brilliant (naturally), it turns out there ARE other sources of information out there regarding Oklahoma's current efforts to make our children even more narrow-minded and send fewer of them to college. As I come across them (or as they're sent to me), I'll include them here. This nonsense is working its way through the process, so this would be the time to write/email/call your state reps and sens and let them know your thoughts.
I’m going to try to cover the House version of the ‘Smother APUSH With Documents’ bill without the oppressive word count of my post on the Senate version.
I am not optimistic.
I confess to some uncertainty regarding how things ‘work’ in the Oklahoma legislature, but if I’m reading the shorthand correctly, both of the bills regarding APUSH I’ve recently discussed – one in the House, one in the Senate – were officially presented tomorrow, February 2nd, 2015.
So, time travel?
I’ve been sharing some thoughts on Senator Brecheen lately as background to understanding his recent attack on Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) courses in Oklahoma.
There are perfectly valid debates to be had over the specifics of APUSH here and elsewhere, and I myself am a big fan of challenging and questioning our assumptions and uses of ANY given terminology, program, assessment, etc.
Unlike the easy accessibility of Sally Kern’s “Use Shock Therapy on Gay Teens” bill or our state guidelines for which angry white men we’ll send to the new Constitutional Convention to rewrite that sorry remnant of darker times (because our current leaders are SO much smarter than the Framers and besides what could possibly go wrong?), contention over something as specific as an AP curriculum can be a bit bewildering for those not walking daily in that world.
What exactly IS the kerfuffle with the ‘new’ College Board Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) course and exam?
Yesterday I posted Sen. Brecheen's bill in the Oklahoma Senate trying to replace College Board's Advanced Placement U.S. History courses across Oklahoma with a list of 50+ documents to memorize. If that method was good enough for the Ancient Chinese, it should be good enough for the kid hoping to run the feed store one day, no?
Oh Senator, you certainly do manage to stay colorful, don't you?
In case you don't recall, Senator Brecheen was the figure kind enough to spend 10 minutes on the floor being shocked that somewhere deep in Appendix G of the Common Core standards, among a few hundred various books, poems, and documents cited as examples of different reading levels, Toni Morrison has written a dirty book.
Every curriculum, every textbook, every teacher in every class makes judgments (consciously or not) about what’s important and what it means. We can try to reduce that bias, but if I assign Shakespeare instead of Marlowe, I’m making a judgment. If I choose eight Supreme Court cases through which to explore the judicial process, I’m suggesting some big issues are more important than others. It’s just how it is. We can’t teach everything. Heck, many days we’re not sure we can teach the basics. Decisions have to be made, and some conflict is appropriate. But this goes beyond that.