Saturday, April 30, 2011

Inside Four Walls: Not Quite Ready for AP

Another no-brainer here. Administrators are in a rush to put everyone in AP classes and then this happens.
Even though students had marked deficiencies in basic reading and writing skills, and little desire to work hard, and even though they made repeated requests for transfers, the dragooning of students into my AP course persisted. 
My frequent reminders to school officials that students’ reading and writing levels and willingness to work hard were more important indicators of AP success than their perceived academic potential were berated and ignored. Administrators and some teachers countered with the “data-driven’’ argument that, not only does more exposure to AP courses and tests benefit students by preparing them for the rigors of college, but it signaled our high expectations of them.
It’s a great read about the frustrations that all AP teachers are going through right now.

I have a colleague who teaches AP Government for seniors, government is a required course to graduate. He has been trying to get parents and the counselors to remove the students that weren’t able to make it in an AP level course. So now he has a couple that might now graduate because they are failing. He feels bad and is considering something to help them out, like extra credit or taking the regular civics final and taking off the AP designation on their transcripts, which might not be legal. I told him that by doing it he would be enabling the administrators to continue to put lower level students into AP courses just for numbers sake. He’s a good teacher and realizes that the parents also pushed them in this direction, so he thinks the students shouldn’t be punished for their mistakes. I don’t know what he will do, but once again the administrators cause this mess and leave it to the teachers to sort out.

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