The first article is about the demands for change in the Advanced placement (AP) curriculum. The author sets the stage by demonstrating that the AP curriculum has been around for a while and has positively impacted my high achieving high schooler over the years. The author transitions to pointing out the diminished utility of AP classes over the past few years. The curriculum was designed for high achieving high school students who wanted to graduate early from college. Yet, nearly 63 years later, the rates of college students graduating early is still low. If AP classes are not serving that purpose, why should we keep them? Another problem is that AP classes are taking away the real focus. Students are missing out on classes that would benefit them the most. An example of this would be a student taking AP Calculus, when in reality they have no interest in math and do not plan to pursue a career in that field. They are simply taking that class to increase their weighted GPA. The author moves on to Vocational training, which in this case shows a potential purpose for AP classes.
The second article discusses the steep drop of AP course offerings. The College Board has set the basis for all course offerings for schools across the nation. Schools are only able to offer AP courses once their submitted syllabus is approved by the College Board. This allows the college Board to ensure that the courses that have an AP label on them actually are an equivalent of college courses. The College Board has been coordinating with various colleges to ensure that students taking AP classes in high school are prepared when they get to college. The author then brings up a Yale professor, who discusses the effectiveness of the syllabuses created for AP courses. He claims that the syllabuses only scratch the surface and don’t actually prepare the students for college. This once more brought up the idea of implementing vocational training in the AP curriculum because it will allow students to not only take classes that directly focus on their future careers, but it also prepares them for success in the fields they will be immersed in during their first few years of college.
The third article addresses the settings of AP courses and analyzes its benefits for achievers. The author starts off by introducing the results of the student interviews given out to schools containing AP courses all over the country. In most of the interviews, the students demonstrated a pure joy of the AP courses. Those students claimed that being in an environment with people of equivalent intelligence was more fun. Instead of the environment being individualistic and competitive, AP classes were surprisingly group driven. This is really interesting because a bunch of high achievers are put in a rigorous environment forcing them to work together, which in turn creates an amazing atmosphere group. The author addresses the level of respect present in such an environment between students and their teachers. AP students and teachers have mutual respect for each other. Normal students don’t receive as much respect, if any, compared to AP students. Teachers feel that the AP students can also teach them some things, whereas regular students don’t have that passion for learning, which prevents them from being as knowledgeable.