August 29, 2014

August 2014

The Organization of American Historians supports the Revised Framework for the Advanced Placement and U.S. History Course and Exam. In response to recent criticism of the College Board, the OAH affirms that expert teachers and scholars of good will designed and conducted the extensive process of revision. The OAH is proud to be associated with these dedicated and professional teachers and historians. Many are OAH members.

The adaptations achieved in the U.S. History Course and Exam were guided by a commitment to benefit from previously unavailable sources of information on American history, to enhance student analytic powers in courses, and especially to foster their success in the complex contemporary worlds they will enter. As in all fields of knowledge—science, medicine, and American history—new sources, new methods, and new conclusions build on distinguished earlier research to move the nation to deeper, more advantageous understandings of our past, present, and future.

Our expanding knowledge about America’s complex history sometimes pushes against semester and school-year time constraints, and we believe that the revised Advanced Placement and U.S. History Course and Exam arise from a strong commitment to reconcile deeper understandings in American history with classroom realities. We are convinced that both supporters and critics of the revision will benefit from conversations that grapple with our expanded understandings of the American past. We welcome fruitful discussions about the best ways to incorporate enlarged historical findings into the design of courses and tests without overburdening teachers or confusing students. Such dialogues, if approached with respect and good will, can engage and unite Americans who value the study of United States history.