JENKS, Okla. (KJRH) — State lawmakers are taking aim at Advanced Placement U.S. History courses in Oklahoma. At the same time, a Jenks student is working to make sure a proposed bill never becomes law.
A student at Jenks High School has gathered more than 10,000 supporters.
Moin Nadeem is enrolled in five advanced placement courses, including U.S. History. And when he started reading State House Bill 13-80, which targets the AP U.S. History course, he knew he needed to do something.
“Ninety-nine percent of them have been in favor of the petition,” Nadeem said as he read through the messages on his change.org petition.
The amount of signatures on the petition he made yesterday continues to grow. It passed the 10,000 mark late Wednesday afternoon.
“I just created the petition on Twitter, searched Oklahoma AP, and just spread the link out, and before I knew it, it was like wildfire. Everyone was talking about it,” the Jenks High School junior said.
Nadeem’s petition opposes HB 13-80. The bill looks to cut state funding for AP history courses in Oklahoma.
“I’ve heard that it isn’t nationalistic, or patriotic enough. I believe, I mean, they have been criticizing it, saying it reflects too many of the negative aspects of history and not all the quote, unquote, all the American exceptionalism,” Nadeem said.
Jenks Assistant Principal Eric Fox taught AP U.S. History for several years.
The College Board, an educational non-profit develops the AP course. It recently adjusted the U.S. history’s framework, which has led to the current criticism.
Fox says the framework is simply a suggestion that educators can build on.
“The College Board doesn’t come in and mandate that you have to teach with these materials. You have to teach in these methods, you have to look at these pieces of evidence, you have to look at these events. They don’t mandate any of that stuff,” Fox said.
Nadeem fears if the U.S. History course’s state funding is cut, other AP classes will be next. Among other things, that would leave future Oklahoma College Bound students at a disadvantage.
“If you were to go out of state for college, everyone that is applying is going to have resumes that are full of AP classes, and you aren’t going to have any. That is not going to hold its own merit in comparison.”
But Nadeem hopes enough petition signatures will stop that from becoming a reality.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives estimates it would cost the state more than $3.8 million to find an alternative to the AP test.