Oklahoma attempts to ban AP history course

February 26th, 2015



Lawmakers in Oklahoma are looking to ban the Advanced Placement United States History course offered at high schools across the country via proposed House Bill 1380. Advocates for this decision say the course does not cast a positive light on American history.


The bill would cut funding for the AP U.S. history program, which is sponsored by College Board. In addition, the legislation would outline required teaching materials for U.S. history courses in Oklahoma.


According to CNN, Dan Fisher, the Oklahoma state representative who is the measure’s chief sponsor, stated at a legislative committee hearing on Feb. 17 that “the new framework trades an emphasis on America’s founding principles of Constitutional government in favor of 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.”


Oklahoma teachers are responding negatively to the legislation. Matt Holzen, an AP U.S. history teacher in Enid, Oklahoma, spoke out against the bill, saying the course “teaches the parts that we like to focus on, that we can be proud of, but it also shows areas where we stumbled and, importantly, where we’ve been able to correct mistakes of the past,” according to Newsweek.


Holtzen continued, “It includes the idea of American exceptionalism, that this is a great nation that has had great achievement, but we shouldn’t ignore the areas where we failed or that we need work on.”


Editor’s Note: Information from CNN and Newsweek was used in this report.