Editorial: College Board doesn’t offer the whole history


Juleanna Culilap

Suggested changes in the state's social studies curriculum minimizes the importance of several significant figures in United State history and this is a disservice to students.

When it comes to the AP history classes that College Board offers, there are only three options. Firstmost, there are the two-near essentials that most AP students know of: World History and United States History. Along with this is the lesser-taken European History, which could see a return to campus if enough students wish to take it in the upcoming school year.

According to College Board’s website, their goal is to allow students to “dig deeper into subjects [they] love.” Nevertheless, while the Advanced Placement program as a whole is growing nationally, the racial gap of students who participate in AP testing persists.

For example, while Asian students made up 5.9 percent of high school seniors in 2013, they made up 10.7 percent of students who took AP exams that same year, and 12.7 percent of students who scored a 3 or higher. Latino students made up a roughly equal seniors-to-test-takers ratio, while both white and black students had a smaller percentage of students who took the AP test as opposed to their percentage-makeup of total seniors.

Inclusivity may be a viable solution to a portion of this discrepancy. Why, in a country whose creed is decidedly pro-immigrant and whose culture is a melting pot of cultural diversity, are the only history classes that are focused on a given region centered on the United States and Europe?

While U.S. history’s exclusive importance is obvious, European History as the sole offer to students who wish to branch out is historically biased. By leaving out classes that focus on African history, Latin history, and Asian history, College Board is making an institutional decision to highlight one continent’s history over another, and, as a result, restraining its potential to offer students more than a single view of human history.

It’s true that Europe has certainly had a hand in the history of other continents and nations through its deadly strategy of colonization that began hundreds of years ago, offering other specifically-focused classes would give College Board the opportunity to give students a better perspective of the countless nations whose culture and history were vastly different before European intervention.

While World History’s extremely broad curriculum puts a band-aid 0n this, College Board’s decision to give a focus to Europe but not to other continents whose history are certainly equally as rich and beneficial, is without a doubt a biased approach that doesn’t uphold College Board’s stated purpose as an organization.