AP and IB Anti-Freedom Legislation
Georgia citizens are outraged over the errors and misinformation in the new Advanced Placement (AP) U. S. History course materials and tests. Rather than learning from primary source documents as one would expect in advanced courses, the AP related course materials are inaccurate and biased. The AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs have a monopoly on advanced programs in English and History in Georgia. IB is a program that is part of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) based in Geneva, Switzerland. The AP and IP programs have an anti-American, anti-freedom, slant.
We acknowledge that there is a problem. What can we do? Our first step needs to be to look at the state legislation that caused the problem. In 2012, our state legislators made the mistake of passing SB 410 because it changed the way schools are rated. Because of SB 410, academics are not reported on directly, but as a CCRPI score, the College and Career Ready Performance Index. The components of this score are dictated by the U. S. Department of Education. Schools get points in their CCRPI score for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate participation and performance. This gives our schools an extraordinary incentive to promote AP and IB courses.
In 2014, our state legislators made a second mistake. They passed HB 131. It adds “rigor” requirements for the HOPE scholarship phased in over 3 years. The ONLY courses that fulfill these requirements in English and History offered onsite in Georgia’s high schools are AP and IB. This gives our brightest students in public and private schools an extraordinary incentive to participate in AP and IB courses, college tuition! Parents, teachers, students, and locally elected school board members have absolutely no authority over what is taught or tested in these courses, but students in public and private schools must take them to be eligible for the HOPE scholarship. In 2015, instead of correcting these mistakes, our Georgia House of Representatives voted for HB 91 which eliminates the High School Graduation Test and makes AP and IP participation and performance one of the 4 possible ways that schools are rated. It has not made its way to the Georgia Senate yet, so we need to stop it there.
What has the Georgia State Senate done in response? Have they attempted to correct the mistakes they made with SB 410 and HB 131? No, they have proposed a toothless Senate Resolution, SR 80, against the College Board, the makers of the AP curriculum and tests. Resolutions are not laws. Senate Resolution 80 threatens to stop funding for the AP program. That is also meaningless. The state does not pay the AP exam fees. The parents do! Each test costs $91.00. These tests are given in churches and other buildings that offer their facilities for free. The students must take them, or they will not be able to earn college credit for their work. If our legislators are serious about solving the AP and IB problem, they need to go back and start reading the legislation they already voted for. Repeal the anti-freedom legislation. Citizens are reading the legislation, and they expect their legislators to read it too.