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View Diary: Warnings From The Trenches (188 comments)

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  •  What's your take on the AP course revisions? (4+ / 0-)

    I agree with your criticism of the amount of course content; I've heard AP classes described as "a mile wide and an inch deep". For that reason, I am not having my oldest rush into AP classes. My oldest can take AP US History next year (sophomore year) or wait until junior year to take it, which is when the revision takes effect.

    "Love binds us all."-willb48

    by be the change you seek on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 01:05:56 PM PST

    •  I didn't encourage my kids to take the AP exams. (7+ / 0-)

      although they did take AP classes.  Unless there is no way to afford four years of college, I feel that acquiring a lot of college credit in high school in order to graduate college early is foolish.  To me it's like trading a year of youth for being able to retire a year earlier.  College is such a unique experience in one's life that I don't see what the rush is to graduate and get a job.

      That said, I understand that especially in this economy there are plenty of people who simply can't afford any more college tuition than the minimum they can get by with.  That's something our society should grapple with, since college costs here are much higher than in many other developed countries.  We need to decide that an educated populace is important to our economy, our security and our health as a country.

    •  I had specific criticisms of AP US Govt & Politics (8+ / 0-)

      even before AP folks started moving towards a standardized curriculum, which I do NOT like.  That was that the free response questions did not take into account good writing, and there was far too much material to be considered, particularly given the universe of Supreme Court cases that could appear either in the multiple choice half of the test or in the free response questions.

      I did not have a problem with requiring teachers to submit syllabi for review to ensure they were of the appropriate rigor and completeness.  That by the way was a direct result of the explosion of AP courses for schools to get higher ratings on the Challenge Index created by Jay Mathews of the Washington Post Company (the results of which used to appear nationally in Newsweek and for the DC area in the Post itsel).

      I worry that the standardization of curricula is going to mean AP teachers have far less flexibility in doing things that engage the particular students before them.

      I have had a principal I know raise the possibility of creating some new AP courses in social studies and hiring me to teach nothing but AP.  I think I can provide far more rigor and challenges without having to consider preparing them for the AP test.

      And I know from the times I have read AP tests for the College Board that there are a lot of students who are not learning at a college level - when on a 6-point rubric for a free response question more than half the answers get 1 point or less, and yet you are committed to a 50%+ pass rate on the exam, there is something wrong happening.

      Don't know if my answer is completely responsive to your question, but that is what I have to offer.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 03:13:48 PM PST

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      •  Thanks for the response. AP World History (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teacherken

        got revised last year & AP US History is supposed to be revised in a couple of years & I was just wondering what you had heard about those revisions.

        PS - Best wishes for strength & speedy recovery to Leaves in the Current.

        "Love binds us all."-willb48

        by be the change you seek on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:05:46 PM PST

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      •  I remember at my high school (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teacherken

        in the late 90's, we had AP US History, Biology, Chemistry, and Computer Science, but not English.  The teachers refused to move from their own well-tested honors curriculum to the AP's standard curriculum.  

        I didn't understand them at the time, but I do now.

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:22:22 PM PST

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        •  a couple of notes (0+ / 0-)

          1 - increasingly more selective colleges/universities are either limiting getting credit or not even allowing credit for AP -  Dartmouth just joined the latter category

          2 - many prestigious PRIVATE schools (eg, Dalton in NYC) have refused to do AP, and some public schools are moving in that direction, trusting that their faculty can provide rigor and depth without the driver of the AP tests (or even the IB tests)

          "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

          by teacherken on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:37:39 AM PST

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          •  I will say, though, (0+ / 0-)

            that my AP computer science teacher definitely did NOT teach to the test--- he was the JV basketball coach, and as soon as the season started, he focused on that and let us play Duke Nukem on the LAN.  

            Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

            by nominalize on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:23:58 AM PST

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