Advanced Placement: Should it be for everyone?
A recent St. Petersburg Times story (followed by some editorials and a response by Hillsborough superintendent MaryEllen Elia) raised the question of whether schools are pushing too many students into Advanced Placement courses, and as a result putting too many unprepared teachers in front of their classrooms.
It's not just a Florida debate.
The NY Times recently posted The Advanced Placement Juggernaut on its Running Commentary blog, giving six experts room to address these two points: "Does the growth in Advanced Placement courses serve students or schools well?" And, "Are there downsides to pushing many more students into taking these rigorous courses?"
Trevor Packer, a VP for the College Board, argues that the clear upside is that more underserved communities now have access to these tough courses, which helps prepare more teens for college. Saul Geiser of the Center for Studies in Higher Education contends that the rapid expansion of AP has perverted its original mission, adding that "mere enrollment in AP classes (unlike AP exam scores) is not a good indicator of how students will perform in college."
Read the entire set of opinions and then feel free to weigh in.