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What Does 'AP' Stand For?

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Are students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses really tackling college-level material? That question is the focus of an audit by the College Board, which owns the AP label. College admissions officers consider AP coursework an indicator that students have challenged themselves in high school—but they seem increasingly uncertain about how much weight to give such classes. Now, all educators who want to use the AP tag must turn in a syllabus and course audit form by June 1. The College Board will decide by November which classes make the grade and post a list of authorized courses on its Web site.

2 Comments

I think it was absolutely necessary that College Board require an audit to ensure that the teacher and school are qualified to teach/offer advanced placement courses. Not all courses that are labeled "AP" are advanced. Some schools label courses "AP" or "Honors" to enhance their image in the community but there is very little advanced work going on in the classroom. At lease the audit offers some uniformity in those type classes.

Hmmm...and who monitors the college teachers to make sure THEY teach a real college course. Perhaps there are some teachers in HS teaching AP courses that are a little "lame," but it seems like a bit of a generalization to say that there are enough to cause concern without doing the same audit of college teachers.

I taught AP courses for a few years, and I can tell you that they were up to par with anything I took as a freshman in college, and perhaps better because my students had a better teacher :)

Seriously, though, monitoring a syllabus and audit form will have little impact on the real TEACHING that goes on in the classroom.

Why not create a rigorous AP test (I am familiar with English), give it to ALL freshman English college and AP students, and then give credit to HS and College students based on the results.

Sounds like a Ph.D. thesis to me :)

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