- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Board of Education received a mixed response to a proposal to publicly oppose the new Advanced Placement U.S. history course framework.

Conservatives around the nation have labeled the new outline for the elective class as anti-American by focusing on the nation’s missteps. They say it ignores or skims over American achievements and also leaves out key figures and events such as the Holocaust.

The College Board, a nonprofit that offers the courses for U.S. high schools, said the history class offers a balanced view of America’s past. It also said the new framework requires students to study examples of U.S. successes, but also “events, incidents or actions that did not achieve the ideals of our nation.”

Sonya Stejskal, president of the Nebraska Council for Social Studies, told the board that students need to be “globally aware.”

They should be taught about “all the beauty in American history, but also the ugly,” Stejskal said.

A state teachers union official asked the board Thursday not to support a proposed resolution recommending the College Board to rewrite the course framework, the Omaha World-Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1pw9DRi ).

“As a state board, you look ridiculous doing that,” said Jay Sears, a former social studies teacher now in charge of the Nebraska State Education Association’s instructional advocacy.

But retired civil engineer Henry Burke disagreed and spoke in favor of the proposed resolution.

He said the course will now reflect a “relentlessly negative view of America,” violating Nebraska’s Americanism statute that requires public schools to teach students to appreciate the U.S. government.

It was passed in 1949 and states that Nebraska’s educational system has “to conduct its activities, choose its textbooks, and arrange its curriculum in such a way that the love of liberty, justice, democracy and America will be instilled in the hearts and minds of the youth of the state.”

The College Board is inviting the public to comment online through Feb. 28 on its website. The organization said it will decide next summer whether it will modify it.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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