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Historical Organizations React to the AP U.S. History Debate


In recent months, the newly developed framework for the Advanced Placement (AP) in U.S. History exam issued by the College Board has sparked an unexpected controversy. The AP U.S. History exam is meant to provide high school students who have already displayed an advanced level of knowledge in the subject the opportunity to earn college credit at many institutions.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) recently adopted a resolution criticizing the revised versions of the framework and exam, and went so far as to demand a congressional investigation into its development. In addition, conservative organizations have joined the chorus and are engaging in grass roots opposition to the AP framework and exam at the state and local levels. State boards of education are being asked to delay implementation of the exam or scrap it altogether.

The opponents maintain that the teaching of "traditional" American history—e.g., the contributions of the Founding Fathers, and the theme of American exceptionalism—are being deemphasized in the framework in favor of so-called "revisionist history" that paints America in a negative light, rather than emphasizing the iconic "City Upon a Hill" of John Winthrop.

To read Lee White's AP US History Debate article in full, go to: http://www.oah.org/programs/news/historical-organizations-react-to-the-ap-u.s-history-debate/

The OAH Strongly Urges Support of the Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act of 2014

The Organization of American Historians strongly urges support of S. 2712, the Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act of 2014, recently sponsored by Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois to allow adjunct, contingent and other part-time faculty to participate in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.


The Organization of American Historians, a professional society representing more than 7,800 historians working in the United States and abroad, affirms that S. 2712 constitutes good public policy for all of higher education, including the history discipline.  As it currently stands, the PSLF program encourages graduating students to apply for and continue to work full-time in public service jobs.  After making 120 payments (10 years of student loan payments) graduates may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program while employed full-time by selected public service employers in such careers as the military, public education, public health and law enforcement.  Many full-time faculty at public universities and some part-time faculty at community colleges qualify for the loan forgiveness program as it was originally passed. 

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Resolution of Appreciation to the Journal of American History

The Association for Documentary Editing passed a resolution of appreciation commending the Journal of American History for its support of the field of documentary editing. The Association thanks the Journal of American History for providing their members with important peer reviews of the work they do.

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Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture Fellowships

The Omohundro Institute is comitted to building intellectual infrastructure. We are a dynamic community of authors, readers, and teachers dedicated to early American scholarship. 

Housed on the campus of William & Mary, the oldest public university in America, and situated in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, the Institute of Early American History and Culture was established in 1943 by the College of William & Mary and the colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The name of benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Malvern H. Omohundro, Jr., was added in 1996 in recognition of their generous support of the Institute. Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize winner and 2009 recpient of the National Humanties Medal as well as a MacArthur Fellow, characterizes the Institute as "one of the crown jewels of the American historical profession." Read More>>