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AP History Framework Authors Defend Their Work

The authors of the new Advanced Placement framework for U.S. History have released an "open letter" defending the document against critics who contend it puts a negative spin on American history.

The nine scholars and teachers worked as a committee, in consultation with other AP teachers, to produce the framework from 2008 to 2012. It was published in 2012, but recently sparked controversy when conservative activists claimed it downplayed American heroism and took an unnecessarily negative view of the American story.

In the letter, obtained by Education Week, the authors seek to "correct recent uninformed criticisms" about the 98-page framework. They said that the driving force behind the redesign was teachers, who were frustrated with the way the course, commonly known as APUSH, "prevented them and their students from exploring in any depth the main events and documents of U.S. history."

You can read the letter here.

The nine authors of the letter (and the AP framework) include Kevin B. Byrne, a professor emeritus of history at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.; Edward M. Dickson, Jr., the history department chairman and a teacher at Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C.; Geraldine Ann Hastings, the social studies department chairwoman and a history teacher at Catonsville High School in Catonsville, Md.; and Suzanne M. Sinke, an associate professor of history at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. The letter includes the full list of authors.

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