Is it time to reconsider AP Classes?

Update Sept 30, 2019 :

Rejecting AP Courses
Several well-known private schools in the D.C. area are scrapping Advanced Placement classes
AP courses losing favor among more high schools
Will Dropping AP Become a National Trend?


This article and the comments following discusses alternatives to offering AP classes in High School:

“The elite Urban School in San Francisco also chose not to offer AP courses, nor does Riverdale Country Day School in New York. “I think it’s sort of an impoverished view of expecting kids to learn a bunch of stuff and parrot it back to you, and that’s the end of it,” said Dominic Rudolph, Head of School at Riverdale Country in a talk at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “These kids have to be better critical thinkers, they have to be better communicators,” he added. He doesn’t think passing the AP test necessarily gives them those skills.”

Are AP classes worth the effort?

We’ve noticed some of the private schools dropping AP courses and even some public schools. They say they are a real cause of stress for the kids. And at some public schools, we were hearing that there was de facto tracking happening where advanced students were ending up on a track that put them mostly in AP classes and lower level students on a track of mostly remedial classes. There were two tracks and limited options for average students.

Colleges don’t always accept the courses for college credit, many students end up repeating the course in college anyway, and you can run the risk of memorizing material for a test versus delving into a subject and exploring it in an enriching way. Sometimes an honors course at a high school is actually a better option for rigorous and engaging learning.

Frankly, many high-achieving high school students are really stressed out. They have a lot to do between extracurricular activities and homework and also trying to get the sleep they need. They need to be prepared for what an AP course involves. The extra tests, extra homework, on top of an already demanding schedule, can be brutal. And a very low grade on your transcript from an AP course may hurt you more in the long run than not taking an AP in that subject at all.

Read this article not for the content for the comments that follow!

Advice from a Dean of Admissions on Selecting High School Courses