GREENSBORO, N.C. — Morris Johnson has been an AP U.S. history teacher for 10 years. He says it’s not often that the College Board changes its AP curriculum guidelines, but this year, it did.
“This is the first major curriculum change that I can remember in my experience,” he said.
The change has spurred national protests. Critics of it say that the revised curriculum focuses too much on negative events in American history, and does not focus enough on “American exceptionalism,” or the idea that America is an exceptional country.
Morris Johnson says he disagrees with the critics. He thinks the curriculum change provides teachers more freedom and provides students the opportunity to make their own inferences about America’s role in history.
“I don’t teach my students that America is exceptional,” he said. “That’s for them to determine. What would be wrong is to teach it as if it were not something that’s debated in the world.”
Meghana Iragavarapu, a sophomore student in Johnson’s AP U.S. history course at Early College in Guilford this semester, agrees with her teacher.
“I do agree that U.S. history should be less about American exceptionalism,” she said. “Because if you’re trained in that viewpoint, you carry it with you the rest of your life and pass that on. And I guess there’s no change that happens.”
Sophomore student Yahya Salih says he appreciates that Mr. Johnson trusts his students to draw their own inferences.
“I like the idea of staying neutral in history and not looking toward one side” he said.
The North Carolina State Board of Education had a meeting earlier this week to discuss the AP U.S. history curriculum. FOX8 reached out to them for comment but did not hear back.