Troubled Advanced Placement Courses?

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 5, 2005 | Go to article overview

Troubled Advanced Placement Courses?


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

There is a troubling trend in public schools to enroll more students in Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

It is believed having average and below-average students enroll in harder classes will cause them to learn more and become better prepared for college. The College Board (the folks who also control the Scholastic Aptitude Test) push to expand its once exclusive AP programs has succeeded in numbers: they have more than doubled in the past 10 years.

However, there are many problems. AP has always had an aura. Students who get into AP classes are known for hard work and intellect. Being accepted into these classes provides students a sense of accomplishment. If all students take AP classes and no one is denied access, that sense of accomplishment vanishes. The very thing that makes AP so special will no longer be special, and AP itself will stand for Average Placement.

Some view this as elitism. That's why tracking, in which students are placed in classes with others of similar abilities, is no longer popular. Supposedly, tracking makes children with less ability feel inferior and higher ability children feel superior.

Well, doesn't that provide children not in advanced and honor classes a major incentive to work harder to get into them?

Besides, what is wrong with students feeling special? "The Incredibles" touched upon this theme when Dash, the boy who runs faster than everybody, is asked by his parents to stifle his speed so other children won't feel so bad. AP teachers will have to make compromises and dumb down their lessons to not lose those students unable to keep with the others.

Imagine how coaches would react if told to accept all students on a team with no tryouts. Or, to start a player who lacked the requisite skills, just to boost a kid's self-confidence.

Smart kids already get the short end of the stick on privileges. Gifted education is the worst-funded part of the education budget, good students rarely are recognized at school and are often ridiculed by peers. Now, their one haven, AP classes, where they have felt safe among other similar kids is becoming homogenized.

Another rationale for putting more students in AP is to provide them with more rigorous courses. But it isn't the material that makes AP challenging. It is the teacher's demands. And AP teachers tend to be the hardest-working at a high school. Why? Because the workload is such an average instructor would shy from it. There are plenty of teachers who don't want to take home loads of papers to grade, hold study sessions after school and sacrifice Saturdays and summer vacations to attend AP workshops.

By saying students need more rigor, administrators inadvertently criticize non-AP teachers. Instead of watering down AP classes with unqualified students, why don't principals call to task teachers of regular classes who don't create rigorous lessons?

Finally, there is a false assumption among educators all students want to go to college. This is not true. Over the years options for students have been eliminated due to the undue focus on standards and testing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Troubled Advanced Placement Courses?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.