Politicians should not hold education hostage to political ideologies

The College Board unwittingly humiliated certain politicians when it released the 2015 Free-Response Questions for the AP US History exam last week. Of the seven questions, only one mentioned an ethnic group (Native Americans prior to 1492), and the Document-Based Question, if anything, seemed to favor conservatives, the exact opposite of what the Republican Party predicted would happen when changes to the curriculum were announced.

To be fair, some of the original sample questions did seem biased against conservatism, and the Democrats have also made poor decisions for students — funding schools based on their test scores comes to mind. But the truly disgusting thing about the fight over APUSH wasn’t the fault of a single party: it was the fact that politicians are willing to use our educations as toys in the battle for control of Washington.

Our years in school often determine our worldview, and a biased US history class could have us believing half-truths for the rest of our lives. Political factions know this, and if one is able to indoctrinate us at a young age to vote for them for the rest of our lives, it will do just that. It’s not an accident that politicians in Georgia and Oklahoma were only willing to settle for completely defunding the class, rather than settling for a compromise with the College Board; it’s not an accident that students protested in both states, rather than supporting the politicians. The so-called “leaders” of those states saw an opportunity to trick young minds into voting for them, but those same smart young minds saw right through them and fought back — and won.

At Bear Creek, we’ve got quite a few smart young minds, and many of them will be able to vote in 2016. When that election rolls around, students should remember that while nothing is sacred in modern America, certain issues — like education — should be, and any candidate, Democrat, Republican, or independent, who uses educational matters as pawns in the game of politics does not deserve our vote.