October 17, 2021

Common Core, the Left and Advanced Placement History

On August 25, 2014 conservative columnist and researcher Stanley Kurtz created another slam-dunk in the cultural war in his article entitled How the College Board Politicized U.S.History.

He has appropriately branded the College Board an “unbalanced” “movement of left-leaning historians” whose goal it is to “internationalize the teaching of American history.”

Bravo! Finally our decades-long push back from policies that always originate from the United Nation’s education arm – UNESCO – is making headlines. The International Baccalaureate would have us believe that it is the preferred of the two “advanced” type courses. If I had to choose between the two, it would be the AP for budgetary reasons.

The College Board is the gatekeeper of who gets into college with its SAT. It is also the private company that produces the various Advanced Placement (AP) exams, now run by David Coleman, referred to as the “architect” of the controversial standards.

Now a new firestorm is raging. The U.N. typically uses the terminology “Framework” – such as the “Education for All Framework,” which is the defining document for all education policy that trickles down from UNESCO. In 1984 President Ronald Reagan withdrew the U.S. from UNESCO declaring it to be “anti-Western.” That was an understatement. It was not until 2003 that President Bush II and his Secretary of Education got us back in as dues-paying members of UNESCO. In fact Rod Paige delivered a “we’re so glad to be back” speech praising the work at Dakar in producing the “framework” that laide the foundation for No Child Left Behind.

Given the fact the the United Nations is international-centric, it is no surprise that the AP History course has taken this leftist perspective. As one who has been at the U.N. in the negotiating rooms and at conferences over the years, I will tell you what the U.N. is all about: It’s the room in which the developing nations gather around the table to fight over how much the rich nations will give them in foreign aid. These are socialist nations that hate the West and their number one goal is to bring the West down to elevate themselves.

A wise president, Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can’t strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.” We have given more assistance to the Middle East, and yet those nations vote against us more than any other block of nations.

In 2008 I submitted an opinion editorial to the Deseret News about this very topic – targeting the International Baccalaureate, which has identical goals – of course, it all comes from the same mold. The editor refused to publish it. It was too “offensive.” He didn’t like my voice. You decide:

Here it is for your review today.

From forcing American high schools to teach history from a leftist perspective, to adopting the UN philosophy of unilateral disarmament – a violation of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to advocating for using international law to trump Constitutional law, to justifying the confiscation of private property to save the planet from “high” levels of CO2, to taking pot shots at American exceptionalism, and then focusing on a “social justice” perspective on race and gender, this is the UNESCO framework and has been for some time.

I will never forget the time I sat in the negotiating room in 2011 where the discussion was about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), gender and the environment. The Russian delegate was restless and impatient. It was clear he was fed up with the waste of time. Finally he blurted out with arms in the air, in a broken-English, thick Russian accent: “We have been here two weeks, and we still cannot yet decide what definition of gender is!”

I felt his pain. On the break I met him in the hall and shook his hand, thanking him for his courageous common sense. He smiled.

I also sat in an all-day seminar on “immigration” sponsored by the United Nations University, featuring a couple of French presenters. Just as Kurtz points out, the discussion of borders has been long-gone. It was all about migration, moving from one “nation state” to another (no countries or boundaries) and becoming instant citizens with voting rights in multiple nations.

In Utah in the mid-1990′s the State Education Code once said the purpose of education was to teach students to be “world citizens” of a “participatory democracy.” I questioned that and it was removed, but apparently like a rising Phoenix, the concept has survived.

Kurtz is right on the money. He calls out some of these Leftist players by name. It doesn’t take long to do an Internet search on the names of educators that support the common core standards to learn that they are the who’s who of the radical Left. This article is a MUST-read.

The big question is: Why is the United States adopting UN policy when in fact, in 2011 the US was required to withdraw from UNESCO when the “palestinian state” was admitted? The U.S. has absolutely no compelling reason to support any part of this Leftist agenda. Yes, Saudi Arabia has filled the gap (with the wealth we helped them create with the sale of oil to our nation) and is now writing those texts. I can hardly wait to see what Al-Quada and ISIS have to say about American history in this new internationalized curriculum.

I vote we get rid of AP History, IB history, Common Core history and replace it with Dinesh D’Souza’s film America: Where Would We Be Without Her?

Kurtz’ conclusion is that “the College Board’s new and vastly more detailed guidelines can only be interpreted as an attempt to hijack the teaching of U.S. history on behalf of a leftist political and ideological perspective. The College Board has drastically eroded the freedom of states, school districts, teachers, and parents to choose the history they teach their children. That is why this change must not stand.”

— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and can be reached at comments.kurtz@nationalreview.com.