Thursday, August 22, 2013

1.3 million students fail Advanced Placement Classes! The whole system is all messed up.

I know what some of you are thinking, why is my class half empty? Why not talk about all the kids that took and passed A.P. classes instead, well friends read further and you may understand and here is a hint, it has something to do with kids leaving their intensive reading class to head to their A.P. literature class.
From State Impact: Students failed nearly 1.3 million Advanced Placement exams last year, according to an analysis by Politico. And the overall passage rate for the exams has declined since 2002.
In addition, The College Board, the nonprofit which administers the Advanced Placement exams, said research no longer supports the idea that students benefit just by taking the more difficult classes. Instead, research now shows students only benefit if they earn a passing score of 3 or higher on the exam.
Florida is among the states pushing more students to take accelerated coursework such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate. The state grading formula for high schools gives credit for the percentage of students taking an AP or other accelerated course.
The trend challenges a widespread philosophy that students exposed to higher standards will find a way to meet them. Graded in part by college professors, AP exams provide a fairly objective measure of performance — and the results suggest that when the bar is raised too high, a good number of students trip.
“Well-meaning policy makers encourage Advanced Placement in order to set high expectations,” said Kristin Klopfenstein, an education professor who has studied AP trends and now runs the Education Innovation Institute at the University of Northern Colorado. “But their eagerness for expansion has gotten ahead of the support systems in place for these kids.”
When I was in school you had to get permission to take Advanced Placement classes and now students are forced into classes they aren’t ready for which also hurts the kids who are in those classes legitimately. AP teachers for years have complained about this but since schools get bonus points for kids just taking the classes, not passing them or the tests mind you, their cries fell upon deaf ears.
We can’t continue to put kids in situations where success is elusive and then wonder why they don’t succeed. Here it is the adults failing the kids.