To AP or not to AP? That’s the question raised by a spate of recent stories questioning the value of Advanced Placement programs.The nut of the these stories is simple: AP is failing kids; the program is over-funded; we’ve let it grow too fast on too little evidence. Or as education reporter Liz Bowie from the Baltimore Sun frames it, AP’s expansion “has not lived up to its promise.”
Politico’s Stephanie Simon is far more blunt: AP expansion has resulted in “a lot of time and money down the drain; research shows that students don’t reap any measurable benefit from AP classes unless they do well enough to pass the $89 end-of-course exam.”
But have those dollars truly been been “wasted” as Ms. Simon contends? Or have low-income students like Destiny Miller, the dogged Baltimore County high school senior profiled by Ms. Bowie, really been unfairly “targeted” by a voraciously expanding AP program?