The quality of Advanced Placement programs is coming under scrutiny at a time when educators are pushing to strengthen the academic level of high school class offerings.
Come February, the college prep classes at high schools across the nation will be audited amid concerns that some schools may be offering watered-down versions of AP courses. Full descriptions of every AP course, syllabus, sample assignment and sample exam for the 2007-08 year will be reviewed.
“Administrators are under pressure to create advanced-type classes. Parents want them. Policy-makers want them. If I’m being told to teach Advance Placement, I can put AP in front of any course name,” said Jim Ballard, executive director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. “Of course, it’s more than simply adding the name, and that’s where the College Board is crying foul.”
The College Board, which sets AP curriculum standards and conducts nationwide exams each spring, is reviewing the courses in response to calls from colleges and universities about ensuring the rigor of AP classes, officials said.
Eduwonk has additional comments
3 thoughts on “AP Audits”
Does it really matter how rigorous the classes are? In the end the only thing that matters is if the student passes the AP test, right? I can see reason to worry if the AP tests are getting easier but that shouldn’t be happening and is easier to investigate.
AP courses need to be rigorous, but the College Board curriculum tends to reflect the worst undergrad survey courses you sometimes end up getting stuck with in freshman year of college. They are a mile wide and an inch deep. Most high school teachers, unlike some college profs, understand you can’t spoon feed that crap to bright students and expect them to get anything but a grade out of it. Bright kids, any kids really, ofen want to dig into a subject in more depth. Good high school AP teachers teach more depth on certain topics and end up not having time to teach all the AP curriculum. I consider that good teaching, which will no doubt end up being penalized.
In general, people may be interested to know that Wisconsin has a distance ed. AP consortium. The URL is http://www.apconsortium.wisc.edu/main.asp .
I don’t know the extent to which Madison K-12 schools participate, but it is a resource that may be of interest.
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