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Sunday, December 1, 2013

The dark side of Advanced Placement classes in DCPS

The Times Union paints a pretty picture of Advanced Placement here in town but people need to be informed about the darker side too, Like how we spend millions each year on failed tests, how the district routinely puts kids that were and are not ready for them in so they could pump up our district and school grades and how we have one of the highest rates of failure in the state. 

Chris Guerrieri


  1. I wonder if the intent is to increase the career certificates. the "pass rate" is much higher. I don't understand the superintendent's comments. the incentive is in place for principals to increase the advanced course participation now. I don't see how having Stanton and Paxon subsidize the cost of the exams changes the numbers. To be honest, it would seem if principals were entrepreneurs or managers they would limit the number of test-takers to those with the highest chance of success and increase the return on investment.

  2. In my humble opinion, anyone who desires to take an AP class and exam should be able to. Over the past two years, I have had students with less than a 2.5 (unweighted) take the exam and pass. I have had students who earned a 2 on the FCAT who passed the AP exam with a 3. In the past, students were stuffed into AP classes to raise the participation rate to help with school grades. Now, they are required to have a specific GPA (around a 2.75 or higher) and FCAT score (4-5); however, teacher recommendation can trump these requirements. Thank goodness. Sometimes, students want a challenge. Sometimes, they want more college prep than a standard class will offer. Sometimes, they want to be surrounded by the most motivated students the school has to offer.
    By the way, Paxon's passing rate from 2012 is only 31% (info located on the website). This hardly seems to qualify as academically elite, especially considering that Mandarin (34%), Fletcher (38%), and Douglas Anderson (34%) all have a higher passing rate and only D.A. is entirely Magnet like Paxon.