Jefferson County School Board member Julie Williams' proposed changes to the history curriculum are at the heart of ongoing student protests.
Williams' proposal, which aims to promote patriotism and the free enterprise system in history classes, is targeted at a recent redesign of the Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History coursework.
The College Board, the organization that designs and administers AP course frameworks and tests, recently unveiled a redesign of the coursework that de-emphasizes rote memorization of historical facts. It instead tries to develop historical thinking and critical analysis skills in students. The first new exams are set to be administered in May 2015.
Conservatives, like Williams, across the country are upset over the new version. They say certain figures in American history are left out in the new framework and argue what is taught is too negative. They also say there is too much content about women, slavery, and Native Americans.
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In response to that, David Coleman, president of the College Board said in a letter that the new coursework "does not remove individuals or events that have been taught by AP teachers in prior years."