Well, only if you consider Italian, French lit, Latin lit, and computer science part of the core curriculum. For better or worse, few American students and their teachers treated these as even part of the peripheral curriculum (by last count, only 1,600 students nationwide were taking the AP Italian course, for example). That's why the College Board is trimming those Advanced Placement courses from its offerings, according to this Washington Post story. A minor retrenchment for the A.P. program? Yes. A major attack on Western civilization? No.

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