For those that are unfamiliar, AP (Advanced Placement) courses are high school courses that have end-of-the-year exams that are supposed to represent the rigor of introductory-level college courses. Every few years the College Board, which writes the exams and designs the curriculum, revamps the courses and tests.

Recently, the College Board has received intense criticism from education groups, conservative groups and even the Republican National Committee for its reworking of the AP US History exam. These groups claim that the test marginalizes the country’s Founding Fathers and important figures and events of US history and boosts the coverage of social justice-like themes.

To stem the mounting criticism, the College Board made an unprecedented move and released to the public, rather than just AP teachers, a practice exam for the AP Us History test purporting to show fair coverage of all topics important to US History.

Under Fire, College Board to ‘Clarify’ New U.S. History Framework

Stung by criticism that its new Advanced Placement U.S. history framework presents a slanted view of events, the College Board has taken the unusual step of releasing a practice exam in the subject. It also announced that it will “clarify” aspects of the framework that have prompted criticism from conservative activists.

In a letter released today, College Board President David Coleman said that he did not work on the framework for AP U.S. history, widely known as APUSH, since it had already been developed when he arrived in October 2012. But he added that he listened “with deep concern” to the issues critics were raising with it.

As we reported earlier today, the Republican National Committee approved a resolution last week condemning the framework, and conservative activists have gathered more than 1,000 signatures on a petition demanding that the College Board delay its use by at least a year.