How the College Board Distorts History Through ‘Progressive’ Lenses


Large numbers of American students take Advanced Placement history courses shaped by the College Board’s exams for U.S. History, European History, and World History. Unfortunately, those exams convey a warped sense of history because they have been written to reflect “progressive” views. They’re pro-government and anti-capitalist.

In a recent study for the National Association of Scholars, David Randall examined the three exams and concluded that they badly mangle the way students learn history in high school. In today’s Martin Center article, I write about Randall’s analysis.

He shows that the exams slant the teaching of history by focusing on facts that suggest to students the need for government control, while they leave out evidence that liberty, capitalism, and Western civilization had anything to do with progress and prosperity. Evidence of the horrors inflicted by leftist movements is downplayed or omitted.

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Randall finds the World History exam to be the worst of the lot, with its incessant efforts at “balance” by denigrating the impact of Europeans while praising the “continuity, innovation and diversity” of all other peoples. That exam is, Randall says, “stuffed with pablum as a sop to radical teachers.”

He rightly concludes that we would be better off if the College Board did not have a monopoly on Advanced Placement materials and exams.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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