Advanced Placement Lesson Learned

It should now be clear to all of us why so many of our students are failing their Advanced Placement exams and it is because of people like Barbara Ramsey (SP Times letter Dec. 19, 2009) who is a leader in the AP program and yet advocates that the AP exams are meaningless. Saying that the “experience” of taking an AP course is more important than actually learning the subject matter is like saying that the “experience” of going through the 11th grade is more important than FCAT test scores in measuring student proficiency. Perhaps we should also do away with SAT and other college entrance exams? Some colleges already seem to be giving more credit for attending AP classes rather than anything learned.

Woody Allen once said that “90% of success is just showing up”, but then he is a comedian. Dr. Melody Hubbard’s letter (Profit skews system) may be more on point: follow the money. So long as AP & school administrators continue to get paid for the number of bodies in AP classes rather than the percentage of students passing standardized tests, we will see yet more students showing up
just to fail.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


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