Notes from UW-Madison and Madison West High on AP Standards

Danielle Repshas:

“Still, there is not an absolute guarantee that a course [called] one thing someplace has the same rigor somewhere else,” Reason said.
Part of the challenge is judging the standards of one AP class from another at different high schools, and Reason said the level of trust colleges and secondary schools have with one another is one way colleges try to establish relationships with high schools. But Reason said he is concerned about the competition level at high schools in terms of coursework because schools in some areas do not have the same rigor in their coursework with respect to others.

The article includes a comment regarding Madison West High School’s limited approach:

In fact, there are only a handful of AP classes at Madison West, and most students aren’t interested in them. They’d rather take more stimulating and challenging classes.

Marcia Gevelinger Bastian touched on the issue of West’s limited number of AP classes here.

3 thoughts on “Notes from UW-Madison and Madison West High on AP Standards”

  1. The anonymous poster responding to this Badger Herald student newspaper article was referring to a time when West’s Spanish curriculum was developed and taught by an excellent teacher who retired about four years ago. And back then, about the only classes with AP designation were Calculus and Stats. There have never been science, social studies or English AP courses offered at West. So to say students back then were opting out of AP is misleading.

  2. Jim has linked a previous message of mine above (about 1 1/2 years old now). The links to individuals were Jim’s rather than mine–just wanted to mention that. The posting is so old that I want to add some of my thinking since that long-ago date. I do want to continue to do anything possible to keep families in our district. If AP courses are helpful in that effort, it would be great to add courses in the high schools that currently offer limited numbers of the courses. I’ve sent numerous messages to BOE and school personnel about particular benefits of these courses to some minority students who live in poverty.
    Taking an AP course can give them the excitement of knowing that they have the ability to succeed and possibly enter college with some credit obtained through success on the AP exam.
    I’ve also shared an example of a disabled child who never pondered college until he achieved success on an AP History exam.
    I do support AP courses as one option that could benefit many students who wish to pursue post secondary education. School personnel have reminded me that it is possible for students to take the AP exams without actually taking an AP course. I have concern though, that this option is most likely to be accessed by those families already connected to college education and may not include some of the children mentioned above. AP courses could also be the carrot that keeps some students engaged in high school, as they see their course work as clearly relevant to a future goal.
    It would be wonderful if our new school board is able to work toward such course offerings to meet the needs of all students. Many many thanks to all individuals devoting so much time and energy to running for school board. I appreciate all of you!!!

  3. The lack of consistency across schools in the delivery of AP classes is certainly an issue, and one that the College Board has been working to address( However, there is quite a lot of data showing that students who take AP classes in high school and who do well on the exams end up getting better grades in later courses than students who have not taken those AP classes in high school. The most recent study, from Texas, was described earlier this year on SIS:

Comments are closed.