When the College Board announced last year that every high school Advanced Placement teacher would have to prove he or she was actually teaching a college-level course, there was widespread fear the process would purge worthy teachers from the program, weeding out good courses along with the bad.
They needn’t have worried. In the first quality-control audit of the AP program, no AP teacher or course was rejected in the Fairfax, Montgomery, Prince George’s or District school systems, according to area education officials. Of the 146,671 AP courses submitted for review nationwide, 136,853, or 93 percent, were approved.
The year-long audit, which ended in January, addressed mounting concern that rapid expansion of the college-preparatory program over the past decade had brought about a decline in the rigor for which it is known and that some students were not learning material worthy of an introductory college course.
But the ease with which many teachers passed the audit has prompted some to question its value. Thousands of teachers submitted exact copies of course outlines from colleagues who had been previously audited and approved. The College Board condoned the practice, as long as everyone submitting the same syllabus vowed to teach more or less the same course.