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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is DCPS misusing A.P. classes?

It’s a commonly known that Duval County pumps up the numbers of many of its Advanced Placement classes so schools can get bonus points. The way the system is set up students don’t have to pass the class or the tests for schools to get points towards their grade.

A.P. classes used to be for the top students to have a college like experience and where they could earn college credits too. When I went to school you had to get permission to take them while now kids are just placed in them and some leave their intensive reading class and head to their A.P. literature class.

It is made worse because kids in A.P. classes are required to take the A.P. tests and Duval has the worst passing rate in the state and at 70 bucks a pop we pay over a million dollars a year on failed tests. But worst of all is the way Duval does A.P. classes bastardizes the whole system and gives underperforming schools cover. How can we know where we are really at and what improvements we need to make when we game the system?

Now out of Broward County there are reports that kids are being placed in A.P. classes to help with the class size amendment. The legislature in their (lack of) infinite wisdom, when they decided to gut the class size amendment, said A.P. classes were no longer core classes. This in effect means that students who have no business being in those classes are now filling those classes to the rim.

The way we do A.P. classes now has nothing to do with enriching our students education or giving them a leg up, instead it is just districts gaming the system in order to avoid doing the things the right way which is sometimes harder and more expensive but let me ask you this, would you rather your kids education appear good or be good?

1 comment:

  1. I graduated from DCPS in 1986. The A.P. program you describe is a far cry from the one I participated in. At that time, our parents had to pay for the test, and yes, we had to have permission to take the classes. Because of awesome teachers and classes, I entered Jacksonville University with almost enough credits to be a Sophomore and I was able to graduate college in three years. But it makes no sense at all to put kids in A.P. classes who don't want to be there and do not have the aptitude. Just another way the current DCPS is jacking kids out of their futures.