If you ask the company that runs the Advanced Placement tests, it’ll say it was trying to do world history teachers a favor.
There’s just too much history to cover and not enough time.
The AP World History test, as it exists, covers a wide gamut of time periods — from the hunter-gatherers in the Paleolithic era to 20th century political and social change.
Last month, the board announced it would cut thousands of years from the material and would start the test at the year 1450.
That’s a battle that’s brewed for a month between the two sides.
College Board Ap World Essay Questions
Now, the College Board — the company that owns the AP program — is offering a compromise: it’s going to figure out a way to start “several centuries” earlier than 1450. And until the board decides in mid-July, teachers are unlikely to be satisfied.“Even if they push back the gate a bit, we won’t be satisfied,” said Merry Wiesner-Hanks, who leads the World History Association and formerly developed the course and the test.“Students — and really, people — need to see the bigger picture and the long history of the past.”The College Board is an American nonprofit that administers AP tests in various subjects that high school students across the country take to get a leg up on college credit.
Mary Beth Norton, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University and president of the association, said Wednesday that it was her personal opinion that "the key point is to have sufficient time before 1450 for teachers to address world historical developments prior to European exploration and expansion." And a start date of 1200 "should accomplish that goal," she said.
"I appreciate the responsiveness to critics shown by this change." The 1200-forward timeline was one idea floated by the board's AP World History test-development committee, which includes college and university faculty members.
Taking the concerns of that latter group into account, the board, which administers the AP program, said earlier this year that it would limit the exam to questions about content from 1450 onward.
But criticism followed, with educators charging that eliminating the study of ancient civilizations meant erasing the test’s -- and therefore the AP World History course’s -- non-European content.