To the editor: The Republican National Committee denounces the College Board's AP United States history guidelines for their alleged "radically revisionist view of American history." ("New U.S. history curriculum sparks education battle of 2014," Oct. 1)
In 1994, Republicans launched a similarly deceptive media assault on federally funded national history standards shortly before that year's midterm elections. Just as it is doing today, the right charged that liberal academics would rather teach children divisive multiculturalism than their country's "true history."
The rhetorical tactics were also similar: Deliberately misconstrue the purpose of the guidelines, disparage them for failing to mention particular facts, and comb them for presumably biased phrases that delegitimize the entire project.
In 1994, the history standards war figured in the Republican promise to abolish the National Endowments and the Department of Education, partly on the distorted notion that these agencies funded far-left curriculum. Today the right is no doubt eager to demonstrate its anti-socialist vigilance by maligning the College Board, knowing that in 1994 the Republicans won majorities in both houses of Congress.
Ross E. Dunn, Los Angeles
The writer is coauthor of "History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past."
To the editor: Perhaps the student holding a sign stating "Don't cencor my right to learn" would be better served by attending English classes.
Susan Beatty, West Hills
To the editor: No doubt many readers will jump on the misspelling in the student's sign to make an ironic point about our education system. The photo with the article is a distraction from a more serious debate.
I hope Times editors consider choosing more contemplative imagery when covering important issues in the future.
Jeff Nuzzi, Pasadena
To the editor: I find it amazing that Jefferson County, Colo., school official Julie Williams and other conservatives want to avoid teaching materials that "encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law."
What was the American Revolution? Did it not disregard British law at the time? By definition a democracy is not ruled by consensus and so is defined by its struggles.
Another example of "civil disorder" is when women fought for the right to vote; is Williams opposed to this?
Eric Wapnick, Calabasas