As you may have heard, some of our intrepid public servants under the Gold Dome are unhappy with the Advanced Placement U.S. history test and the College Board which administers the tests.
The General Assembly is considering a Senate resolution to ask that the test be removed from Georgia classrooms. Supporters of the resolution say the test leans left politically and has an ideological viewpoint that diminishes American history.
The authors of the test say the AP U.S. history course is an advanced, college-level course — not an introductory U.S. history course — and is not meant to be students’ first exposure to the “fundamental narrative of U.S. history.” I think that is education-speak for saying kids should already know about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and Ray Charles.
Trevor Packer, a Fulton County history teacher and College Board official, was quoted in the Atlanta newspaper as saying the test has a lot of positive features, but admitted that some things need to be revisited, like the description of former President Ronald Reagan’s military policies as “bellicose.”
This kind of back-and-forth could go on for much of the legislative session and slow the wheels of democracy. (I assume “democracy” is covered somewhere in the test. I sure hope so.) Slowing the wheels of democracy would mean lizard-loafered lobbyists might have to cancel dinner reservations with their pals in the General Assembly at some of the pricey restaurants in Atlanta. That could severely impact the state’s economy.
In the spirit of public service and to be sure legislators don’t miss a free meal, I have put together what I believe is a reasonable compromise of the AP history test that should satisfy one and all. Read closely, please:
1. Explain why Ronald Reagan’s military policies were considered bellicose if he got the Russians to tear down the Berlin Wall. Compare his policies to those of Barack Obama who couldn’t scare a sand gnat. (10 points)
2. The Great State of Georgia is:
A. The largest state east of the Mississippi River.
B. The finest state on either side of the Mississippi River.
C. Home of the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South.
D. All of the above.
(An additional 25 bonus points if you pick “D.” Wink. Wink.)
3. Discuss the sinister role of the military/industrial complex in United States history, including why we bombed Pearl Harbor, invaded Poland and tortured and killed millions of people during World War II. (15 points)
4. If Jimmy Carter leaves Plains, traveling north at 60 miles per hour while Millard Fillmore leaves Buffalo, New York, traveling south at 72 miles per hour, how long would it take for anybody to give a rip what either of them thought about anything? (10 points)
5. In recent years, there has been a growing trend of U.S. citizens sneaking into Mexico illegally, getting driver’s licenses, attending Mexican colleges and insisting the locals learn to speak English. In 50 words or less, explain how that makes sense. (10 points)
6. Only one governor in the nation’s history has (a) given an elephant a physical and (b) built a bunch of concrete fishponds. Name the governor: (5 points)
A. Arnold Schwarzenegger
B. Howard “Yah! Yah!” Dean
C. George Wallace
D. George E. Perdue (Wink. Wink.)
7. In the American Revolution, the English wore bright red coats and fought out in the open. Americans hid behind trees and shot people in bright red coats standing out in the open. Who won that war and why? (10 points)
8. In the War of 1812, the English wore bright red coats and fought out in the open. Americans hid behind trees and shot people in bright red coats standing out in the open. Who won that war and why? Hint: Refer to Question 7. (5 points)
9. Explain how California ever got in the Union in the first place and what can be done to get it out. Try to avoid words such as “you know” and “way rad.” (15 points)
10. Finally, describe what the U.S. Constitution would have looked like had it been written by a bunch of posturing state legislators in conjunction with College Board pointy heads. Warning: Do not be bellicose. (10 points)
I hope this new-and-improved history test will bring closure to the controversy and that I can get back to more important matters — like rearranging my sock drawer.
The things I do for my country.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.