AP test revisions; the only federally funded slave memorial; Jack the Ripper as “women’s history”; a Roman cat; ranking presidents by wealth

So they responded to the critics and changed the AP standards, announcing the changes today. I am not interested in publicly getting into the debate over whether the standards were too “liberal” or that now that are too “conservative.” But, one statement in defense of the original standards is interesting: “Many of the comments we have heard about the framework reflect . . . a very limited faith in history teachers’ command of their subject matter. The Curriculum Framework was written by and for AP teachers — individuals who were already experts in U.S. history and its teaching.” Frankly, (and sadly) I think that statement is a bit naive about the reality in many of our high school history classrooms (though of course not ALL of them, so don’t misquote me!!!)

We all know that there are a zillion memorials to American leaders (and Rebels) and American history. But apparently there is only ONE federally funded memorial to slaves. It is tucked away in Philadelphia and has been a source of contention. Pretty shameful. (Personally, I want to see a national slave museum and memorial on the Virginia Peninsula near Jamestown. Pipe dream).

So, some dude in London got approval to open a museum that would be “the first women’s museum in the UK,” but it turns out it is actually a “Jack the Ripper Museum.” I’m all for such a facility, but man, what a disgusting hoodwink this was.

Here’s one for you cat lovers: they’ve found a cat’s paw print in a 2,000 year old Roman roof tile. Was it a Roman soldier’s pet?

How about a ranking of US presidents by net worth? No surprise that Lincoln is near the bottom and that JFK is #1, but I am surprised that FDR isn’t higher (just cracks the top ten at #9). This is a pretty interesting list, and yes, it is adjusted for inflation.


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