Dear Mr. Packer,
My name is Matthew Quinn and I am an AP World History teacher from Atlanta, GA. I would like to begin by thanking you for your willingness to hear our concerns about the proposed changes to the AP World History curriculum.
I know you've been getting a lot of criticism about not testing on Period I-III content and I can understand how incredibly frustrating that must be. So here's an idea I tweeted at you a few days ago that I'm re-sending that should address the concerns about too much content in too little time and the need to emphasis skills.
It's my understanding that in an earlier iteration of AP World, Period I and Period II were part of a combined "Foundations" unit that's basically "To 600 CE." My idea would be to revive this concept and make it 10-15% of the overall exam content. Teachers would skim over Periods I-II like they already skim over Period I, thus freeing up time for more in-depth learning about Period III-VI and more practice on the different historical skills.
Alternatively, maybe glue together Period I-III in a new "Foundations" unit for, say, 30% of the AP Exam? John Greene said that it took Columbus permanently connecting the Western and Eastern Hemispheres for a truly world economy to be created. My proposed "Foundations 2.0" would assess the students on the pre-1450 conditions that set the stage for this "world" economy (Mansa Musa to show Italian merchants in Egypt there was gold in West Africa, the Indian Ocean trade network da Gama wanted to get into, the Silk Road that Columbus wanted to go around, and the Asian gunpowder and sailing technology that made European voyages possible).
This way, time would be freed up for the post-1450 content the College Board wants to emphasize and the vital pre-1450 context is not lost. It would also for the religions content to be incorporated into the new curriculum more organically rather than "flashbacks" to explain post-1450 developments.
What do you think? Thank you again for your willingness to listen to other teachers' and my concerns.