GA House Rules Committee Fails to Advance Bill to Push Competition for AP Tests

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

The Georgia House Rules Committee has failed to advance a highly popular resolution that would have the state’s congressional delegation urge a competitive market for Advanced Placement tests, the federal subsidies for which go entirely to the College Board.

The measure would have also asked the College Board to return to a traditional, balanced approach to U.S. History that would be aligned with Georgia’s social studies standards. Also, it would have directed the state Board of Education and the state Department of Education to explore alternatives to the College Board’s Advanced Placement program.

Senate Resolution 80, introduced by state Sen. William Ligon Jr. (R), passed the full Georgia Senate and unanimously passed both a House education subcommittee and the full House Education Committee. The resolution, however, never came out of the House Rules Committee, which determines which bills are sent to the House floor for a vote.

“It’s hugely significant that this resolution passed so easily every time it came up for a vote – in the House committee, even unanimously,” American Principles Project education fellow Jane Robbins tells Breitbart News. “This shows that concern about the College Board’s monopoly crosses party lines. We think the Georgia resolution can serve as a model for other states.”

Writing at National Review in March, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center Stanley Kurtz echoed Robbins’s statement, observing that opening the AP testing market up to competition would prevent the threat by the College Board to unilaterally revise its AP curriculum.

“This is both a thoughtful and a politically viable approach,” Kurtz wrote. Were it to spread to other states, there is an excellent chance that it would bring genuine choice to the fore in advanced secondary school testing for college credit.”

Kurtz added the resolution’s provision directing state education officials to “explore alternatives” to the College Board’s AP curriculum and test was “a signal of encouragement from the state of Georgia to private companies thinking of offering alternatives to the College Board.”

“It’s tough to imagine Georgia’s Nathan Deal, a conservative governor of a conservative state, vetoing a resolution on an issue of such interest to conservatives nationally,” he continued.

Neither Gov. Nathan Deal’s (R) nor House Speaker David Ralston’s (R) offices would respond to requests for comment from Breitbart News about why the measure stalled in the House Rules Committee and whether it would be revived in the future.


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