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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A win for Vitti with Advanced Placement tests. Updated

For years Duval padded its AP stats by putting kids that had no business taking them in advanced placement classes.

This year the amount of kids taking the classes is down and the percentage of kids passing the tests is up. Imagine that. It's also a very good thing.

Where I think Vitti’s reasoning for fewer kids taking them this past year is a bit rosy, he says they are in alternate advance programs by hook or crook it’s a good thing and long over due. Chalk this up as a win for Vitti but Fischer had a different point of view.

In the Times Union Fischer said: But not everyone is cheering Duval’s AP results. Board member Jason Fischer said Duval should increase AP participation.
“All the data show that, in general, kids who take AP exams tend to do better academically,” he said. “I want to see more kids taking it and more kids passing. I wouldn’t celebrate (fewer) people taking it.”
Unfortunately he is wrong, kids do not do better just being in AP classes though in his defense that was the prevailing thought for quite some time. A thought that sadly stymied kids both who were in them legitimately and those who weren’t.

Fischer explains his comments: I received the following e-mail from Mr. Fischer.

We had a full conversation about acceleration programs and I voiced the need to match up more high school students with acceleration programs that work best for them. Whether that's AP, IB, early college, AICE, or coursework that leads to a certification. I could have been quoted just as easily as saying we need to encourage more students to pursue early college or industry certification.

They chose to use the AP comments only. AP is not something I necessarily favor. I favor whatever best needs the needs of a particular student.

1 comment:

  1. I am torn about AP. I have students that traditionally did not qualify under the new regulations concerning GPA and FCAT; however, any student who has the desire should be able to take the class. I don't condone forcing kids to take AP classes, but limiting students if they want to take them is unethical. Sometimes, it is about the culture of the AP class, albeit not every AP class. A good AP teacher will cultivate a college-going environment with very motivated students; some students want that experience, and many do surprisingly well. I had the opportunity to encourage non-traditional students to take my AP class and most did well. Did they pass the test? Many did. Did some get a 2 instead of a 1? Yes, but those students are way more prepared for college than the average student in a standard class. Kids and parents should be able to choose the classes that they desire.