I’ve been warning for some time about the College Board’s effective mandate that AP U.S. History be taught from a hard-left perspective. But this report by Eric Owens of the Daily Caller leaves me stunned:
The latest version of a top-selling study guide for the Advanced Placement European History exam explains the French Revolution with a chart which identifies Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as a fascist and pairs him with the Ku Klux Klan.
“Barron’s AP European History” (7th edition) makes the claim, intended for consumption by American high school students, on page 168. The chart attempts to compare modern American political affiliations with the various factions involved in the French Revolution. The chart moves politically from left to right.
The far right of the chart is labeled “fascist.” The authors demonstrate modern-day “fascists” by pairing “Clarence Thomas and the KKK” in the same box.
Barron’s typifies the far right during the French Revolution with “wealthy people who fled France.”
The far left of the same chart is labeled “Communist.” For the French Revolution, “poor city dwellers” represent the far left. For today’s politics, the authors choose “anarchists.”
For Barron’s, then, the polar extremes in modern politics are Communists and anarchists on the one hand and Clarence Thomas on the other. And Barron’s perpetuates the myth that Communism and Fascism (National Socialism) are polar opposites, rather than first cousins.
Ordinary conservatives fare better than Justice Thomas, but not as well as liberals. Conservatives are depicted as “those against change/most Republicans.” “Liberals” are “those in favor or gradual change…most Democrats.”
I don’t know any conservative who, at this juncture, is “against change.” Nor would I describe the changes favored by today’s liberals — a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, Obamacare, regionalism, legalized marijuana, etc. — as gradual.
Maybe that’s just me. But Adams shows that Barron’s definitions are at odds with those found in Merriam-Webster’s best-selling dictionary. Barron’s is also at odds with President Obama who has described his goal as “transformation,” not gradual change.
Is Barron’s to blame for its scandalously left-wing characterization of the modern political scene? It’s in the business of preparing students to take exams. If the contents of its prep material help students do well on the AP U.S. History test — for example, if its rendition of the modern American political scene provides an understanding that is likely to boost test scores — then Barron’s is simply doing its job. In that case, the fault lies with the College Board, not with Barron’s.
It’s possible that the authors of this particular Barron’s guide, Seth A. Roberts and James M. Eder, went rogue for the purpose of providing their own indoctrination of AP U.S. History students. But given the hard-left orientation of the course’s published framework, and its left-wing roots, I find it far more likely that Barron’ is teaching to the test.
In other words, Barron’s has simply been enlisted, along with America’s AP U.S. History teachers, in the College Board’s radically leftist indoctrination project, a project that is linked with the Common Core and which can be expected to infect it sooner rather than later.