Report: AP is okay, but Florida should expand dual enrollment
Florida needs to better promote and invest in dual enrollment programs, given that they appear to be more successful and less expensive than Advanced Placement in preparing low-income students for college, says a report out this morning from Enlace Florida.
In 2008-09, 79 percent of low-income high school graduates who took a dual enrollment class in their senior year immediately entered college without the need for remediation, compared to 62 percent of similar students who took AP, says the group, which seeks to increase educational opportunities for under-represented groups. About three times as many graduates that year took AP (45,541) as dual enrollment (15,754.)
"The findings in this report suggest that it's time for Florida to become more intentional about diversifying student participation in other acceleration programs that prove to be just as effective as AP," Braulio Colon, ENLACE's interim director, said in a written statement.
The new report (click on the link below to read it in full) comes after the St. Petersburg Times took a look at AP costs, and as some teachers and other critics have questioned the push for more "non-traditional" students into AP classes.
"While there's value in participation, it's not enough to justify high costs over low-cost alternatives that are just as effective if not more effective," the report says. "This is especially true during a time when rigor will be a requirement for all students as higher graduation requirements are phased-in over time through SB 4."
The report recommends Florida expand dual enrollment offerings, particularly for low-income students; expand access to dual enrollment in state universities and private colleges (90 percent of participants now are enrolled in community colleges or state colleges); and promote the program more.
It ends on this note: "Incentive funding for AP is likely to undercut the promotion and implementation of Dual Enrollment since no incentive funding is tied to Dual Enrollment course participation or performance."