Friday, November 09, 2007

AP Q's & A's

Below are two questions posed in another thread concerning AP classes and staff responses.
Are all AP teachers certified by College Board?
There is no AP teacher certification. However, all CCPS teachers have completed the audit with success with very few exceptions. Those few are still under review. They were submitted on time; however, the College Board hires reviewers such as college professors who are not always prompt in completing their review duties. For example, schools submitted that exact same syllabus for a course; some of the schools were authorized immediately, some are still waiting. Once the submitted syllabus is approved the teacher is authorized to teach the course. CCPS also ask all teachers to attend a College Board endorsed week-long summer institute for their course before they teach the class. There are a few exceptions at times, such as when a teacher is hired after the school year begins or has a conflict with training dates in the summer. In those cases, we try to find workshops during the year to support the teacher, provide support through the content specialist and other country AP teachers, and send the teacher to a summer training the next year.
What are the AP audit criteria?
The criteria are determined by the College Board and vary by AP Course. In general, the criteria included the AP syllabus containing information on what will be taught in the course, how the course is organized (thematic, chronological, etc), the skills the course addresses, assignments, required readings, essays, etc, the textbook used, instructional materials used beyond the textbook, etc. The syllabus must show “clear and explicit evidence that fully satisfies” each course’s requirements.


Anonymous said...

The absolutely crappy performance of some of the AP classes, year after year, is more of an indicative auditing than some college professor stroking the College Board's backside.

How about if an AP class teacher be required to have a pure degree in the subject that they teach?

AP music theory=Master's in Music.

AP Physics=B.S. in Physics with a certification in BS courses to satisfy Maryland's teaching requirement.

AP Computer Science=B.S. in Computer Science with a certification for teaching in Maryland?

I ask this: How many teachers of the AP classes actually have a pure degree in the subject that they teach? How many "Online" classes have they taken? Are they from bogus schools?

You ask: How could we EVER hire people like this? They would all run out to the private sector and get "high paying jobs".

Just like someone has mentioned on the blogsite already, working 10 months out of the year, getting close to 60 percent of the average of the last 3 years salary in retirement pay (old system), having an $80,000 per year job for these 10 months; extended holiday breaks, etc.

Who are these jackarse whiners kidding? If it wasn't for the thugs infiltrating the schools, the lack of the administration to rid the school of these thugs, bringing corporal punishment back into the schools, etc., you'd have more talent than you could shake a stick at.

But, with the socialist state of Maryland destroying the retirement system of the workers, having tried to buy everyone out of the old system (not every sucker fell for that, by the way), we have a constant turnover rate of new teachers which competes with the rate of turnover of McDonald's employees. Go to Pennsylvania. You WILL NOT see this idiotic turnover in schools that have good school systems and good state retirement benefits.

If the system was doing such a damn good job, you wouldn't have this incredible problem with teacher retention, nor would you have to "prevent the flow of information" to help perpetuate the facade of success.

Anonymous said...

"Below is two questions posed in another thread concerning AP classes and staff responses."

That would be below are. And then you have the audacity to criticize teachers.

Jennifer Abell said...

Thank you for pointing out my grammatical error. I have corrected it in the original post. English/grammer was never one of my strong points what that was just pure negligent and going to fast on my part. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Think nothing of it, it's something we AP teachers do all the time.

Anonymous said...

People are allowed to express themselves.
Unfortunately, not everyone that is a taxpayer with an opinion are writers and journalists.

The point it this: DO NOT ALLOW teachers that have lousy tests scores a couple years in a row to continue to teach AP classes.

Our children are more important than some teacher's ego or the extra thousand or so bucks that they get to teach the class.

Have these teachers teach lower level classes and get them out of the AP classes that they are screwing up.

Anonymous said...

"Our children are more important than some teacher's ego or the extra thousand or so bucks that they get to teach the class."

Wrong again. AP teachers do not receive an extra dime for teaching AP courses.

Anonymous said...

From one AP teacher to another...
I know for a fact that Jennifer supports teachers and doesn't criticize all teachers in general. In addition, I can say there are some teachers who aren't pulling their weight, might be lazy, or just not motivated. They don't follow the curriculum, pass out worksheet after worksheet and tell students to read the text. This is not teaching, it's babysitting. If we as teachers fail to admit to the inadequacies in our own profession then we are no better off than the suits at the Starkey building always spinning the statistics and nothing will ever change for the better.

Anonymous said...

I have never shied away from acknowledging that there are lazy, or perhaps incompetent teachers in any school system including our own.

What I have yet to see from anyone with regard to this issue is an acknowledgement that many AP teachers, are working extremely hard under arduous circumstances. All I have read are blanket indictments questioning the competence of AP teachers in general and a refusal to recognize that there are benefits to AP courses that go far beyond exam scores.

Turkey Trots to Water said...

To the anonymous poster of 11/10/07, 7:21 and 8:56…

That would ACTUALLY be: “Below are...”
You also stated, "Think nothing of it, it's something we AP teachers do all the time." You have incorrectly used a comma there. The correct version of your statement could read: “Think nothing of it. It's something we AP teachers do all the time,” or “Think nothing of it; it’s something we AP teachers do all the time.” Your comma usage, however, was in no way proper… Is that something that AP teachers do all the time, too?
My point is simple, person unknown. You chose to engage Mrs. Abell on a triviality, and had the -- *gasp* -- audacity to make similar mistakes yourself during your engagement. Your statement was not an argument, it was a springboard to an ad hominem attack that has no place in polite discourse, nor in discussion of a valid issue at hand. Under normal circumstances, such an attack would be a triviality, an annoyance. In your case, when the aggressive purpose of the statement is so obvious, and the belligerence so blatant, it’s something more: malice. To exhibit such malice under an anonymous banner is a study in class, or rather, a lack thereof.
This is an internet forum, not a classroom. Do your job; correct the mistakes in the classroom. Do your title proud; behave in a matter befitting a role model – don’t use a triviality to justify your poison pen. Until you do just that (and this is not a blanket indictment of all AP teachers – this is directed at you) you have no class, you have not a leg to stand on when it comes to correcting the mistakes of others, and you have created the eternal hope in me that my children will never suffer your instruction.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

My hat is off to the AP instructors that are excellent, but fear for their jobs. They know that if they raise a stink about having low-level kids in their classes, they'll face consequences from scally-wag administrators that do not belong in that job. They are no more role models than AP teachers leading classes toward a "2" average on high school tests.
The AP program is beginning to be a joke.

I challenge the county to get break the bondage of the MSTA and get some people that are experts in the material being taught. Get some ex-military, ex-engineers, etc., that know the subject far beyond the levels they teach. Stop the BS "you can't teach unless you are certified" BS that they ivory tower liberals are spewing from Annapolis.

Grow some balls and tell the administration that YOU WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT BAD OR SLOW KIDS IN YOUR AP CLASSES! These kids destroy the AP classes. They keep the good kids from having a shot of covering all the material, hence, preventing the good kids from having a chance of obtaining college credit.

Don't put up with this psychological BS that the MSTA is feeding you.

Please show more concern for the good kids and let's get the rotten kids thrown out of the schools. Let's change the next HS to another
Charles County Detention Center.

Why have pregnant and nearly blind teachers being beaten by heathens in the classroom? How can you turn a blind eye to these rotten thugs?


LegalBeaglette said...

“…schools submitted that exact same syllabus for a course; some of the schools were authorized immediately, some are still waiting.”

I was afraid I would hear that “exact same syllabus” part. It tells me that a syllabus submitted for audit was not necessarily created by the instructor who is actually teaching the AP course.

"Some teachers remain skeptical of the audit: What's to stop lazy AP teachers from copying another teacher's syllabus and passing it off as their own? Who will ensure that lesson plans approved by the College Board will actually be taught? “To Be AP, Courses
Must Pass Muster,” The Washington Post, 3/25/07

They’re valid questions, I think.

Anonymous said...

What Turkey Trots said...


Anonymous said...

I agree with legalbeaglette's point: "Who will ensure that lesson plans approved by the College Board will actually be taught?"

In our schools, there simply is no authority figure to ensure that the approved syllabus is actually taught. For many courses, teachers scramble to form their syllabus and submit it to CollegeBoard. After that, everything begins to unwravel. They fall behind their scheduled lessons and get side-tracked. There are some classes that are often months behind their syllabus simply because there is no one checking after the Audit.

It should be the responsibility of the school system or individual schools to follow up on teachers teaching AP courses. I realize there are monthly meetings and in-services where all the AP [insert course] teachers meet, but are these meetings effective in ensuring that the teachers are on pace with what they should be teaching?

The biggest problem is when May rolls around and the class is not half through the material yet.

It is not always the teachers' faults in this case. They are simply pushed to slow down their classes by the students in class. Unfortunately, in either case, this is never good.

Our county should invest in its own audit system for more accountability throughout the year. Simply checking teachers' scores at the end of the year is not the solution. Ongoing accountability is necessary. The tests administered by teachers to their classes should be overlooked to see if they are sufficient in preparing the students. Other aspects of the AP classroom: lectures, homework, tests, projects...should all be reviewed regularly by Department Chairs or other school officials. This is something the Board may want to look into.