Wednesday, June 13, 2007

County Ranks High in AP Enrollment

Maryland Independent, 6/13/07

Four Charles County high schools are among the top 4 percent of U.S. schools in getting students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses, according to ratings in a national newsmagazine.

But three county school board members recently voiced concerns that with rising enrollment in AP courses, the quality of the courses might be going down — an assertion school system administrators strongly dispute.

Read the Indy story HERE

Take a wild guess as to who is one of the board members with a concern.


LegalBeaglette said...

School system administrators may dispute it all they please, but students in some of those classrooms hold a different view. The fact that the College Board has decided to implement this audit seems telling; there is clear concern regarding the program’s integrity.

The article in the local paper does not make it clear whether individual teachers and their courses are being reviewed, or whether the courses – generally – are being audited. For example, is there a single “AP History” syllabus for each high school, or for the school system overall, and THAT is what is being reviewed by the College Board? Or is each AP instructor submitting his or her own course syllabus for review?

Anonymous said...

You certainly have good points. Each teacher should be reviewed as to how many of their students receive either a "3", "4", or "5" on the respective AP exam.
As usual, Jay Matthews insists on celebrating the fact that gobs of students take the classes.

Why? If there is little or no correlation with the grade in the class and the AP score, obviously there is grade inflation.

The fact of the matter is that many students can get more out of an honors level class versus an AP class because they are more prepared for the honors class. The AP class is probably too big of a leap for more students.

Anonymous said...

Both Estep and Fisher are on another planet in another galaxy.

I'm assuming that they think that the public doesn't see the results of these classes.
Yes they do. In fact, Charles County's AP scores where some of the lowest in the entire state.
For Ms. Estep and Mr. Fisher to defend these scores goes to show you that they are in fact "disconnected big time" with the classroom.
Good luck Bill and Judy.

Heather Brooks said...

AP class enrollment means absolutely NOTHING if the classes aren't what they should be.

Charles County's school system needs a serious overhaul.

Jennifer - would you consider posting something on recycling in CCPS? My daughter says they don't recycle at her CC middle school.

We have that WONDERFUL WONDERFUL Nanjemoy program they get in 5th grade, but no peep before or after about recycling/reusing and composting, water quality etc.

I am hoping to help my daughter's middle school next school year start an "environmental club" - what is the policy regarding recycling for the school system?


Anonymous said...

While Garth Bowling was the principal at McDonough, he always hailed the Jay Matthews report on how McDonough was a leader on squishing kids into the AP classes. NOTHING was ever mentioned as to how well each kid did on the test at the end of the year.

I must say that this is just plain asinine. How many sports coaches would allow kids to sign up for football, basketball, etc, as a "feel good" gesture? I mean, to have an excellent team, it must be competitive, have try outs, and unfortunately many do not make the team.

This report from Matthews and the Post reflects the attitude that all can benefit from these classes, but this is very far from the truth.

Pedagogically, students must have the necessary skills to enter into these classes. Just as colleges have entrance exams, high schools must implement stop-gaps that keep average kids out of these classes.

We must raise the scores of the AP classes. Especially Physics and Mathematics. For most schools, they are WAY down in the gutter.

It's a sad fact that some of these AP classes have an average below a "2". How sad is that?

Let's allow students that are academically ready for Honor's classes to take these, but keep them far away from AP classes, as many do not have the intelligence or the ambition to succeed in these classes.

Jennifer Abell said...

Recycling - on my list to ask inquire about in August.

Jennifer Abell said...

I'm right there with you! Students should have a minimum level of proficiency before taking AP courses. OUr higher level achievers/thinkers are suffering.

Anonymous said...

I agree Jennifer.
Flooding AP classes with kids that aren't even close to being prepared for the classes slows the class down, and does a disservice to students that are trying to learn enough of the material to do well on the exam.

Anonymous said...

I also have an idea:

Require ALL AP instructors to take the test every year.

If they don't score a "5", cut their pay by 20%.

I mean, if they are teaching the class, they should at least be several years ahead intellectually of the material. If not, yes Ms. Wise, the teacher should be embarrassed and run away from teaching the class that they ARE N

Why don't you, Ms. Wise, get into these classrooms and sober up to the fact that showing the bosses of the teachers and administration the scores of these AP tests, both by schools and subjects, is paramount to saving these teachers' rear ends. Do you think a private company would hide performance appraisals from management?

Your idea of hiding such important information from the parents is akin to "educational treason".

At least Mr. Shah has some cahones and actually cares about the right of the parents to see these scores.

Good for you, Mr. Shah.

Jennifer Abell said...

Thanks for the comments.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Mr. Shah for being a high achiever on his AP Tests.
This has nothing to do with his teachers, but his high IQ and work ethic. His parents have done a great job with Mr. Shah, unlike the herd of violent and disrespectful "children" that we are getting into our school system with no more than one biological parent.(and that's on a very good day)

When will these hypocrites stop riding the "We are great 'cause we have billions of kids in AP classes" syndrome?

I would love to see Garth Bowling on the local cable channel, defending out of one side of his mouth, the extremely poor showing of the CC schools AP scores, then sucking up to Jay Matthews and announcing from the mountaintops how wonderful we are for having sardine-packed AP classes, where 32% of the people get a "PASSING SCORE" of a 3 or better. Who in the hell says 3 out of 5 is passing? Even many private schools set 94% as the cutoff for an "A".

If these administrators had any balls, they'd wander up to UPenn, Georgetown, etc., and convince them to give college credit for a "3" on an AP test. What a joke.

After hearing the blathering of Cliff Eichol and entourage on the local boob-tube cable channel, you'd think their MISSION IN LIFE is to ensure that all Charles County Public School children go to CSM and take 18 credits of remedial classes just so they can THEN take college level classes that will transfer to a four year school.
Yes Mr. Richmond, remedial classes are "high school classes taken by students at community colleges, paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for books, fees, and tuition". Do parents realize that this is money flushing down the drain of Charles County's Educational Toilet? Let's try not to be so darned apathetic.
But with some of the downright violent and belligerent kids in our classrooms, WE MUST PROVIDE A NANNY STATE AND BABYSIT THIS NON-LEARNERS.

Does Eichol realize how much money parents WASTE paying for remedial classes? How dare this guy blather nonsense when he knows darn well that the school system is in a MAJOR LEAGUE FAILURE MODE.

Are we living in such a culturally deprived area that the public is brainwashed by these "schlickmeisters?" Do you think that Fairfax or Montgomery County residents would tolerate this type of "dealing from under the deck" and watch their kids come out of their high schools being "ill prepared" for university level classes? The answer is "NO!"

"County Ranks High in AP Enrollment".

"County Officials Rank even higher when measured on the BS scale."

And we pay these people's salaries out of OUR TAX DOLLARS.
Do you truly believe that we are getting our money's worth?

The answer is......

Anonymous said...

So 32% received either 3,4 or 5.

Check out our in-state University of Maryland. A pretty good school.

Look at the following link:

Look at the number of "4's" and "5's" required to receive college credit.

Now convince me that Jay Matthews and his Charles County followers are trying to scam the taxpayers in Charles County.

If U of Md. wants a majority of a 4 or 5 to get credit in a freshman class, how in the world would a more competitive university accept the same?

They wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to why so many of the posters to this blog hide behind the cloak of anonymity. If you truly believe in what you are writing, then leave your name and stand behind your words.

Anonymous said...

Hey Don in Hughesville. Get with the program.

This board is used to discuss issues that affect the outcome of our children's education. You don't need to know who I am.

All I ask is that the next time these people on the BOE try to cover up AP scores that rank on the criminal scale, get rid of these people.

They have no purpose, no perception, and feel no responsibility for promoting excellence in this school system.

You tell me. Look at these horrid scores. How in the world could you EVER defend the overall program.

If a business would perform at this low lever, year after year, these would go belly up.

And Don, just call me "Cowboy".
I call 'em as I see 'em.

And after looking at what Mrs. Abell posted, I suggest the administration goes back into a huddle and get some experts in biology, mathematics, physics, etc...that will kindly report to the elected BOE as to who knows what they are doing, and who doesn't.

As of right now, whoever observes these classes ain't doing their job, and must be living in fantasy land.

Anonymous said...

Go get 'em Jennifer.

Do us all a favor and run for the chair position next election cycle.
If we have to, let's also elect you as the sole dictator. You certainly care more about our students (along with Mr. Shah).

We need a true leader that will execute authority and put people in these jobs that will teach our college bound students.

Excellent work getting the scores.
I hope that Mr. Schwartz isn't too upset that these scores became public. Let's publish them in the newspaper on the front page. Let's also call the Post and invite Jay Matthews down to address the graduating class of 2008, convincin g them that getting their "1" on the test was rewarding and will allow them to sail with the Eagles at MIT, UPENN, Georgetown, and the Naval Academy, just to name a few great schools.

Or, let's just send them over to CSM to take 20 credits of remedial, low level high school material. I know the parents will LOVE paying all the money twice, once for the high school, and once for the community college.
What a joke!

My hat goes out to the four apologists that didn't want to "EMBARRASS" anyone, but they did embarrass themselves.

Anonymous said...

Re:Cowboy Bill

I suggest you get with the program. Instead of posting your passionate prose on a blog, go down to the school board meetings and let the board hear what you have to say...loud and clear! As long as they are not hearing from us, they'll do what they do. We can no longer be a silent subversive majority. I have only lived in this county a short time, and find it extremely dissapointing that HARDLY ANY parents show up on a regular basis to comment at monthly public forum.

The lack of rigor at all levels of this system is frightening. Seemingly, no one in this system's, uh, leadership understands that our children are in global competition...and thus require a world class education to be competitive. If I heard how we are the most digitally advanced system of our size one more time, then I'm going to croak! I want to hear how we are the most academically advanced system.

I have a challenge for all the frustrated stakeholders who are tired of what we are getting...or not getting...from this system. Show up at school board meetings in LARGE numbers for public forum. That will scare the hell out of them!

Anonymous said...

Well said Don in Hughesville.

If I weren't in the "system", I'd be down there in a heartbeat.

Our county is having more and more one-parent or no-parent "families" moving in from the north.

They don't care about their kids, and as long as the schools are providing a nanny service "on the taxpayers", they won't complain.

Yes, I'm sick as well about idiots saying how "technologically advanced" this county is.

In what respect? These fools must not go to other high schools in other parts of the state or country. Take a look on the internet and look at high schools that are actually technologically advanced. If we were, we wouldn't have such LOUSY showings on the AP exams.

If the county could, they'd drop any standardized test they could, as this is the only true indicator as to how the county does compared to other schools, counties, and states.
You tell me: Do those AP scores compete with the rest of the country? Look at the amount of spending that Charles County has compared to let's say, Idaho.

Now compare the results.
Then do the math. It doesn't add up.

Anonymous said...

The families from PG County,or any other county, are not the root causes of our system's challenges. I'm not from PG, but many in our county would be surprised to see some of the wonderful programs offered to students there that we don't have. The BIG PROBLEM in Chuck County is the gang of dipshits that make up management and leadership for CCBOE. It appears that many on the board have been lulled to sleep by the superintendent and his mnagement staff. The board has no spine because they fear he will leave. I say let him go! Maybe it's time for a change at that position. I'd bet dollars to donuts that there would be 100 qualified candidates ready to take the job. We need someone who gets what needs to be done is THIS century. We need someone who will wants to move the system forward and won't be afraid to make a few waves.
I'd like to take them on a tour of the PUBLIC school(IN MARYLAND and not Howard or Montgomery County) from which we came. Kids have foreign language in elementary school. There is rigor and the expectation of excellence. Unfortunately here, the expectation of excellence is a low one.

Jennifer Abell said...

Don, COwboy, and Einstein,
Thank you for your comments and participation> I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about the AP scores I published.

In addition, Charles County is not doing all that bad as a system. In fact, I would say we are doing pretty darn good when you compare and overall analysis to some of the systems around us. Can we do better...definitely! I believe this is what upsets me the most...just moving along doing the status quo.

As for the AP, look at it "Advanced Placement". It is for students ready for "Advanced Placement". There should be minimum level of competentcy required for admittance. As for our scores, I personally think we can and must do a lot better.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs. Abell:

I definitely want a copy of the compiled AP scores. I'd like them to put in my Office Excel 2007.

I'd like to analyze them. As far as Advanced Placement, I think that considering them "advanced anything "would be stretching it.
I would bet that no more than 5% of all major four year universities that offer more than a undergraduate degrees would accept an AP score of a "3" for college credit, and even less than that offer these classes for credit toward majors in either Engineering, Science, or Mathematics. They are simply not rigorous enough, and the pool of students that complete the classes are not in a rigorous enough environment to actually be statistically significant enough to count.

Let's see the scores and compare them to previous years. Is there any improvement in the average score in a class? If so, let's pat those teachers on the back and give them a raise. Let's recognize them as being dedicated and knowledgeable expert teachers to hold highly cherished in their respective fields of teaching.
If the scores are consistently poor, please investigate exactly why we always have low AP averages in certain classes and why we tolerate and allow these teachers to DESTROY students and WASTE the time and money of the taxpayers and the students taking the classes, year after year...

Please ask the administrators of these schools with a straight face as to why they allow the same teacher to teach these classes, year after year.

Please ask these administrators to defend the atrocity of having these same teachers "TEACH" 12 to 15 students, getting '1's and '2's, and holding them back from having the same opportunity that students from other schools in the county have that do receive the credit by successfully taking the AP EXAM.

Please ask why a teacher within the department who is bright and capable cannot teach the class and is prevented from sharing their maturity of the subject with the students.
Do you realize that we consistently prevent 12 to 15 students, year after year, from having a shot of achieving and learning this material? Do we not have the balls just have this teacher removed from having the privilege of teaching this AP class? If these teachers are capable of teaching, have them teach lower level classes. This is no joke and not the place to experiment on talented and bright young ladies and gentlemen.

This material is extremely important in learning other fields
of study. Keeping someone in the same position for the sake of saving face is:

1) A slap in the face of a bright and capable teacher within the department who is much more capable of teaching the class and hinders the creation of a flourishing technical program.

2) An obvious "black eye" seen by the students and the AP program as a prevention of progress and a flaw in the entire system within the school and backbone within the administration.

It shows students that failure is basically guaranteed for their last step in the completion of a curriculum and the technical language that they so desperately need for the foundation of higher levels of study will have to be acquired as an additional lower-level college class taken in their freshman year. And yes, this class is a PRE-REQUISITE OF HIGHER LEVEL CLASSES THAT MAY PUT A STUDENT A SEMESTER BEHIND AND COST BOTH THEM AND THEIR PARENTS MONEY!

How long will we continue to allow this to exist as "business as usual"? Aren't our students more important than one teacher's ego?

I would say so.

Do we have a bunch of "yes men" on that board, or do we have the right men and women to start kicking arse and taking names, shaping the much needed change in structure of teachers in the AP Program?

Let's hope the latter. Our Mr. Shahs of the future depend highly on the guidance and mature decisions of this taxpayer elected board.

Jennifer Abell said...

Mr. Einstein,
If you are unable to view the AP scores via the link (or they are unclear) please email me personally and I will be more than happy to forward. (Need your email address)