AP should stand for A-Political

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The College Board: the powerful company that controls the SAT, the PSAT, and AP testing, among other college preparation tests. Most students are probably unaware of the Board’s influence in education or its organizational structure that works to insert politics into the classroom.

While the College Board is membership driven, it is governed by a Board of Trustees. These trustees are a wide assortment of figures in education, from college admissions administrators to high school superintendents.

But when is comes to curriculum, the trustees aren’t the ones calling the shots. Committees of “expert” college-level educators in respective fields design AP curriculum, and they develop the course goals and themes. Then, they choose content based on the aforementioned items.

This is where the trouble occurs. According to Econ Journal Watch, only about 8 percent of college professors identify as conservatives. Course themes, while not expressly political, clearly open the can of worms for teachers to introduce biases. For example, in the AP Spanish language and Culture curriculum, there are six course themes; one is “Global Challenges.” This unit focuses on poverty and the environment, and the course explores possible solutions. The wealth gap is lamented, and the use of fossil fuels is demonized. Opinions on these issues may differ, but the truth is that there are legitimate arguments for capitalist economics and diverse array of energy sources.

It is wrong to teach an issue in a single-sided manner. The College Board should maintain a focus on education instead of inserting irrelevant, potentially political topics into curriculum.

As another example, one must look no further than the popular AP U.S. History curriculum; the “Migration and Settlement” theme is the most obvious offender. While immigration certainly played an indisputably important role in American society and still does, the APUSH curriculum delegitimizes the notion that immigrants should assimilate into American culture. Again, while opinions will inevitably vary, it should be agreed that both sides of any political issue have merit, and that presenting a conclusion about the “correct” side has no place in the classroom.

We believe that the purpose of the public education system is to educate, not indoctrinate. We pride ourselves in educating the free thinkers of the future, not the operation of facilities reminiscent of Chinese re-education camps. We applaud LT for its intellectually diverse atmosphere, but the College Board clearly misses the mark.

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