The Real Reason Private Schools Drop AP Tests

Read the full article at the Huffington Post

The Real Reason Private Schools Drop AP Tests

Advanced Placement in American high schools has become an enormously popular trend, boasting an annual participation of almost 2 million students taking classes in the more than 30 available subjects.

The perceived advantages for students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses are that they have the opportunity to show their mastery of college-level work to college admission officers and are also able to skip a broad array of introductory level undergraduate courses in many colleges — providing that they achieve a grade of three or higher on a year-end exam (scored on a scale of one to five). Over the years — to a great extent because of these “advantages” — high schools in New York City have ramped up their AP programs.

Over the past decade, however, a growing number of important and influential dissenters have openly rebelled against the trend. They include the Independent Curriculum Group, which is an alliance of “leading college preparatory schools that emphasize site-based, teacher-generated curriculum for advanced courses.” The ICG’s primary initiative is to eliminate all Advanced Placement from high school curricula. The group contends that AP forces teachers to conduct superficial and mechanical survey courses. They argue the frenetic pace required to cover all the material on an Advanced Placement year-end exam leaves no time for the flexibility and in-depth topic studies conducive to more effective learning. Fieldston, Riverdale Country, Trevor Day and Berkeley Caroll are among the New York City elite private school members that have dropped AP courses.

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