Sunday, January 11, 2009

Open up AP

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Since I started teaching my Advanced Placement Comparative Government course I've heard one thing consistently from other AP teachers; open the course to everyone and don't test in.  I did that and took some criticism for it since other classes do test for entry into the class. 

Now this comes from Jay Mathews at the Washington Post:

  "......a study of 78,000 Texas students found college graduation rates much higher for those who, while in high school, took Advanced Placement exams -- but failed them -- than those who took no AP exams at all."

About a quarter of my students this year did not take AP U.S. History, and I'm pretty confident that almost all of them can past the AP Test.  Like most Seniors, the question is about how hard kids really want to press their Senior year.  I'm running into more and more kids that say, "Nah, your class sounds cool and all, but I really just want a fun Senior year".  The idea that AP is a better prep for college isn't in their minds when they are Juniors.  Social life, Homecoming, Prom......all those things that make Senior year an experience out way the tough classes.

How does your school deal with it? 

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