NC Superintendent on #APUSH

scG-coleman-unqualifiedAn email exchange on the appalling changes to APUSH (AP U.S. History) was forwarded to me by NC Citizen Nancy Murdoch. With her permission I am publishing it on this blog.

Reminder: APUSH changes were driven by unqualified David Coleman — a Common Core architect.

Note Dr. Atkinson’s comment that the College Board is an outside entity and DPI has no control over it.

“The College Board develops and manages all AP courses, including AP U.S. History.  Neither DPI nor the State Board of Education approve the standards or course implementation of outside organizations, including those of College Board. 

That begs the question, why are we using this if we have no control over it and this new framework clearly undermines North Carolina’s history curriculum? What role do DPI and the State Board of Education play if not to vet and maintain quality education in North Carolina? Dr. Atkinson seems to be shrugging her shoulders here and that’s just as appalling as the changes to the APUSH framework.

Atkinson seems to be telling Mrs. Murdoch students and parents can just choose not to take advanced courses if they don’t like the changes:

Families and students choose to take or not to take these various courses. “

The response from Atkinson had two attachments:

  1. DPI APUSH BASIC INFORMATION
  2. DPI – COLLEGE BOARD APUSH FACT SHEET

Also read:


 


From: Nancy Murdoch
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:50 AM
To: June Atkinson
Subject: AP History

Dr. Atkinson,

I saw your email clarifying the fact that the new AP history is not aligned with Common Core.  However, the same person developed this as did Common Core, namely David Coleman.  Of course, I’m sure that is just a coincidence.
I’m sure you will agree that this is what teachers will teach…teaching to the test…and the sub-standards in AP history should concern every American who cares a whit about our history.  I happen to think if we don’t know our history we are bound to repeat it, and most certainly not the good parts.
It appears to me the more so called educational gurus become involved in the process the more our education suffers.  After a scant review on my part, I see a bias and an attempt to influence what students think and feel about our country, but assuring they will know little.    Is it too much to ask that history just be taught as fact and we allow students to think for themselves?  It appears impossible for the educrats to leave their personal opinions on the shelf.
Respectfully,
Nancy Murdoch
To: Nancy Murdoch
Subject: RE: AP History
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:44:23 +0000
Dear Ms. Murdoch:
 
Thank you for your email regarding the redesign and implementation of AP U.S. History. 
 
The College Board develops and manages all AP courses, including AP U.S. History.  Neither DPI nor the State Board of Education approve the standards or course implementation of outside organizations, including those of College Board. 
 
DPI strives to support local school districts in providing the most personalized education possible for all of our students with many choices of courses in high school, including courses that are college level and build upon prior learning.  College Board’s AP program is one of the many ways our local school districts choose to provide a variety of learning experiences for our students.  Other outside organizations that develop courses that public school students may choose to take include Microsoft, US Armed Forces, Cisco and local community colleges and colleges/universities.  Families and students choose to take or not to take these various courses.  
 
In regards to your development and content-related comments, you will find two attachments that may be of interest to you.  One is an overview by DPI.  The other is a recent document that College Board has prepared to better explain the changes released in 2012 to their AP U. S. History course.  College Board is also planning on releasing a full exam to help better communicate how students will be assessed. 
 
As always, I welcome comments from students and their families.  If you would like to discuss this issue further, please do not hesitate to call on Sneha Shah-Coltrane, Director of Gifted Education and Advanced Programs, at Sneha.shahcoltrane@dpi.nc.gov or 919-807-3849.
 
Sincerely,
June St. Clair Atkinson

 


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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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