Dear College Board,

Changing the AP World History exam so that it covers only the period after 1450 may make the course "easier to teach" in a year, but a disaster in building a citizen base who can lead this country in the next 20 years.  Starting in 1450 is essentially telling the story of the "rise of the West," leaving the conventional total lack of understanding of China's heritage and relationships within East Asia in place.

If American students need to understand anything as they grow into voting citizens, they should understand China's history, self-perception, accomplishments, trading routes, and relations in East Asia. Not understanding this can only lead to war as we contemplate sharing our assumed position as "#1."

New York State has had a two-year world history mandate since the 1970s. Surely other states could do the same?

Respectfully, but with much concern --

Robin Martin


Roberta Martin, Ph.D.

Director, Asia for Educators

Founding co-Director, NCTAsia

Chair, Freeman Book Awards

Weatherhead East Asian Institute

Columbia University