To be clear, my scoring leader could not have acted on her own to recalibrate how readers like me rated students' short-answer responses, because someone further up the chain of supervision would have noticed. Perhaps they chose to ignore the Fugitive Slave Act of , which required officials to report and capture runaway slaves to authorities anywhere in the United States, and the Missouri Compromise , the Compromise of , the Kansas-Nebraska Act , and the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision All of these documents expanded slavery to all territories under US control.
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All of them meant that even the freedom of thousands of free blacks in states and territories that had outlawed slavery could be in jeopardy. Such a vague reference to the centrality of slavery in the modern world can allow students and teachers to make ill-informed historical assumptions or traffic in racist stereotypes. Any history teacher who has students able to raise American slavery as an example of mass violence but who are unable to explain their assertion has not taught their students how to make proper historical intuitive leaps.
If educators cannot agree that the US government sanctioned slavery, and that this sanctioning legitimised mass violence toward millions, then what are America's allegedly best history teachers really teaching their students? The problem with so much of the work of The College Board and the ETS is the politics of American education and the assumptions of Western progress embedded within.
For the exam's designers, the rise of democratically-led nation states in the West and the move towards a less-violent, globalised world was their trope for this question. Chattel slavery will always serve as a complicating counternarrative to The College Board's trope of the West's continual social and political progress. For those on the outside looking in, there was no controversy. But as someone who has scored both AP World and US History exam essays seven times in the past decade, I know this release sanitised the implicit racism built into the scoring process of these exams.
The whitewashing of American slavery as not state-sanctioned violence serves as but one example. The bulk of the curriculum which begins around CE still focuses on how the West came to dominate the rest of the world and avoids the rise of Islam and the development of major civilisations in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. I have been reluctant to speak up about such things publicly because I have been a not-quite full-time college professor who has depended on my ETS cheques to get through the summer months.
One of my jobs as a historian is to dispel myths and speak the truth for the marginalised. I have never been more at odds with an educational endeavour. The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial stance. Al Jazeera Correspondent. Toggle navigation. How US history is whitewashed in high school exams Slavery was state-sanctioned mass violence, despite what the College Board says.
United States Education Racism slavery History.
Have your say. The College Board has released information on the composite score range out of required to obtain each grade:  . Note: The above composite score cut points reflect the pre grading formula which deducted 0.
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America's History Henretta et al. The American Pageant Bailey et al. The American People Nash et al. Give Me Liberty! Foner Liberty, Equality, Power Murrin et al. Out of Many Faragher et al. A People and a Nation Norton et al.
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