ATLANTA (AP) — The College Board's new Advanced Placement U.S. history test is strongly biased to the left and should be scrapped, Republican Sen. William Ligon said Wednesday in an argument that has also been made by lawmakers in at least three other states.
In an often contentious hearing of a joint meeting of the state Senate and House education committees on Ligon's Senate Resolution 80, legislators expressed strong concerns that the new test, already in use, is unfair and sends erroneous signals about capitalism and race, among other topics.
Ligon and legislative panelists faced off against Trevor Packer, a top official of the College Board, and Centennial High School AP history teacher Chad Hoge, who defended revisions in the latest Advanced Placement History test.
Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, and retired history teacher Larry Krieger, a consultant from Statesville, N.C., contended the Advanced Placement test needs competition.
Kurtz claimed the new AP test "is dominated by a leftist ideology."
In particular, Ligon, Kurtz and Kreiger said the new test is critical of the late President Reagan, is anti-free enterprise, and portrays corporations as greedy and self-serving. Ligon said the College Board has made the test "more politically correct," a claim rejected by Packer and Hoge. He also claimed the new test minimizes religious influences, distorts the motivations and actions of settlers in the 17th-to-19th centuries, and presents a skewed view of the nature of free enterprise.
Rep. Mike Dudgeon, R-Johns Creek, said the new test downplays "good things" and is generally too negative about U.S. history. Ligon echoed that sentiment saying the test reflects a "revisionist view" of American history.
The new AP test has also made enemies in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. In Oklahoma, the legality of teaching AP courses has been called into question while lawmakers filed a bill that would direct the state's Board of Education to consider barring the use of state funds for AP history courses.
In Texas, a conservative Republican on the Texas Board of Education drafted a ceremonial resolution in September decrying "a radically revisionist view of American history," but the education board's own general counsel determined that its members had no jurisdiction to keep Texas students from taking the national test or to delay implementation of the new exam.
Ligon said if the College Board fails to comply with his request to scrap the test, the Georgia congressional delegation should push for reduction or elimination of federal funding for the New York non-profit.