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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

AP courses headed for major redesign



In recent years, the quality gulf between the premier college-track programs found in U.S. high schools -- Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate -- seemed to be widening.

While IB courses tended to focus on helping students understand big, complex topics (such as the mind-blowing capstone course, Theory of Knowledge,) the College Board's AP courses often seemed driven by a laundry list of facts and trivia.

Now, it appears the College Board folks are doing something about it. According to this Education Life story in the New York Times, the organization is poised to overhaul all of its offerings, substituting broad concepts and standards for the cram-fest. Among the first changes are brand-new tests in 2012 for the popular AP Biology and US History courses.

Does this seem like a positive step? Will it make things tougher or easier for teachers and all of the non-traditional AP students who have been getting pushed into such courses in recent years? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

[Last modified: Saturday, January 8, 2011 9:50am]


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