AP U.S. History courses bill to be rewritten; Rep. Fisher refuses to comment

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OKLAHOMA - A controversial bill to rewrite U.S. History courses in Oklahoma is getting rewritten.

A day after speaking with the State Superintendent, Rep. Dan Fisher (R-El Reno) said he is revising House Bill 1380, which would bar the use of state funds for Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History courses - which earn students college credit.

Fisher is part of the Black Robed Regiment, which believes pastors should be politically active.

He said his bill was taken out of context, but after NewsChannel 4 waited in his capitol office for two and a half hours Thursday, he said he did not want to set the record straight with us.

"Well the news don't seem to be able to get any story right," Fisher said Thursday.  When our crew responded with, "That's why we're here," Fisher responded by saying, "Yeah.  I understand.  Thank you."

Fisher was well aware that HB 1380 is under fire across the country after he said the current AP U.S. history courses emphasize "what is bad about America."

The bill would make state education officials specify what should be taught in the classroom.

But Wednesday in Tulsa, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said she had a talk with Fisher.

"I was pleased to hear today that the author is wanting to revisit some of the language," she said, "and make sure that he is being responsive to many of our students and parents and educators."

Edmond Memorial High School teacher, Patti Harrold started teaching AP U.S. History 27 years ago.

She said Fisher never contacted the teachers who actually wrote AP U.S. History courses, and said there is no mandated curriculum.

"I would just think he would try to find a few people, and again not me, but talk to people to just be informed," Harrold said.  "We have to talk about the bad.  Slavery was not good.  But the issue is American exceptionalism can be shown by how America comes out of it."

Fisher told NewsChannel 4 he plans to redraft the bill and would not comment before then.

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