Banning learning

Story by: Ian Carson, Managing Editor
Photo by: Emily Neundorff, staff photographer

AP textbook

The A.P. United States History (APUSH) course has officially been banned in Oklahoma, and education has officially become limited. The last time I checked, America was supposed to be the land of opportunity and freedom of thought. The fact that some legislative representatives are trying to restrict certain courses from being taught solely because they do not agree with the content makes no sense in the free world.

The largest claim against the new APUSH guidelines is that it does not teach “American exceptionalism” and skips over important founding fathers and documents. Opponents claim that the new guidelines leave out important historical figures. In fact, the guidelines for APUSH have never included historical figures directly– it was assumed that they would be taught along with the necessary other topics. A consistently positive view of American history, without exploring any of our faults as a nation, is detrimental to our ability to expand and improve.

“I think that the new curriculum forces students to think like actual historians and that it challenges critical thinking skills,” said Shelby Bernard, 12.

We cannot improve without first learning from our mistakes. I have learned in my APUSH course, some very exceptional things that Americans have done, but I have also learned of some very questionable courses of action Americans have taken, and that is all part of being a nation. No nation is absolutely perfect, and trying to brainwash children with this notion is irresponsible and daft.

The other claim against the new APUSH curriculum is that it limits what teachers are allowed to teach. Before the new course design, the APUSH outline was very broad, leading teachers to try and cover every aspect possible by fear that it might show up on the AP test.

The new guidelines more strictly defines what will be covered on the AP test, while still giving teachers freedom and flexibility to teach supplemental information. This will allow teachers to more readily prepare students for the AP test while still having some flexibility in the matter, which is a good thing.

The new APUSH exam focuses more on applying historical knowledge and examining historical perspectives than the previous exam, which is just one of the many improvements of the new course.

We live in a nation that allows us freedom of thought, so why should the right to learn freely be taken away?