June 29, 2009

AP Musings

This has nothing to do with anything, but while we're stuck on the issue of standardized testing I figured I would throw out a question that occurred to me the other day:

As AP classes (high school classes that can be taken for college credit) become more commonplace, will the colleges stop being interested in giving credit? I know at my school, the kids who take AP classes aren't the ones who want to place out of a Gen Ed class in college to move on to more challenging work - they're the ones who don't want to be bored out of their mind, because the alternative is "normal" English or Government or whatever, which, depending on what teacher you get, tend to involve watching a lot of movies, reading easy books, etc. There isn't any middle-ground between the basic class and the AP one, so AP becomes the default class just because the alternative is no good.

Not to say the people in my AP classes weren't qualified to be in them - they absolutely were. But because people aren't taking it to be challenged, it becomes just another class. I came out of my AP Spanish test able to speak less Spanish than I'd gone in with, but I still passed the test... because instead of practicing speaking the language, we did worksheets to the test. My friends are taking 5 AP classes next year when they used to advise us to only take 2... is the upcoming senior class just more capable than we were? I've noticed less and less "AP classes are very challenging, expect lots of homework," and more "Take AP classes, it makes the school look good."


Anyway. Sorry. The point of this musing is that as AP classes are viewed more and more like just another part of high school, colleges might lose interest in giving credit.

But, I'm done with high school, and am going into college with so many AP credits that I'm basically a sophomore. So I can't say I care that much about the fate of AP.


Unknown said...

Just in case one post was not enough!!!! :D
I do think that it is ridiculous that people in my school were forced into it(including myself) when many were unable to handle the insanity of it all.
Speaking of the tests, aren't we supposed to be getting our scores back soon?

Spiffy said...

Yup! Scores come sometime this month, I'm hoping I did well!