Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Should We Put the Brakes on Advanced Placement Growth?

Duh! Isn't this what we've been saying?

By Jay Mathews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 10, 2008; 4:47 AM

Patrick Mattimore -- lawyer, teacher and freelance journalist -- is one of the most insightful writers about schools I know. So when he published a piece in Education Week criticizing the rapid growth in Advanced Placement courses in the country, I read it carefully and asked him to discuss it with me in this column. Mattimore is not only an astute judge of AP policy, but until recently, he was an AP Psychology teacher in San Francisco. He knows the territory like few others, and unlike many people in the debate over how to use AP, he has accomplished the rare feat of changing his mind after discovering facts at odds with his views.

His March 5 Ed Week commentary points out that if you look at all high school graduates, the percentage taking and passing AP exams is increasing. But if you look at the percentage of exams with passing grades -- 3 or above on the 5-point tests -- that is declining in many subjects. To Mattimore, this means the program is growing too fast -- a 10 percent jump every year in the number of exams taken. He says the rapid expansion ought to be reined in until school systems improve instruction in lower grades so students are better prepared for the rigors of AP.

Read more HERE


Anonymous said...

A sober educator.
But, I think that the left-wing, social stinker Jay Matthews should go out to pasture completely.

To him, all children can learn difficult material (eventually, let's say one year earlier than 10,000 A.D.). Thankfully, the College Board is coming to it's senses and seeing that it's more important to have quality than quantity. I hope the local yokals take note; get the slower kids out of those classes, get bright and capable teachers with a mastery of the subject to teach the entire curriculum for the class, and get back to the original intent of Advanced Placement classes.

I use bright and capable because the "no child's behind left alone act" as bastardized the phrase "highly qualified".

LegalBeaglette said...

"Isn't this what we've been saying?"