Thursday, June 05, 2014

CCPS changes AP testing and payment procedures

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is changing its Advanced Placement (AP) testing and payment procedures.

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Amy Hollstein told the Board of Education on May 13 the changes are needed to promote both college and career readiness and to provide equitable resources for all students.

Starting next year, CCPS will eliminate all mock AP exams except U.S. Government, require AP students to take the class final exam and only reimburse payment for tests on which students receive a 3 or better. Currently, students pay for their first AP exam and the school system picks up the cost of any subsequent tests. Additionally, the school system will now pay for career certification tests, such as welding, Parapro or cosmetology exams, if a student passes and receives their certification.

Replacing the mock exams will be formative assessments, which teachers will administer in the first semester in order to address instructional needs. AP students will also take post-tests in February and take the final class exam. Currently, students who take the AP exam are exempt from the final; however, AP exam scores are available until late summer.

“Over the years we have done a good job of encouraging more students to take rigorous AP courses. Just being in an AP course has its benefits, and we will continue to encourage high participation and enrollment,” Hollstein said.

However, Hollstein said, “We want a student to take the test because they are motivated to take it.” Now, she said many students are only sitting for the exam to avoid the class final.

Charles County is one of the last counties in the state paying for most AP exams, Hollstein said. She added that the system would continue to pick up the exam cost for any student unable to pay the fee.


Anonymous said...

As a student myself I do have to say that I have sat for 5 AP exams (3 as a jr., 2 as a sophomore) partially because I did not want to take a final that was worth 20% of my grade. An AP class is designed to be the equivalent of a college course. All CCPS high school students have on average 225 minutes a week per AP class to learn a curriculum that is taught in a 2-3+ hour long class. North Point has 180-270 minutes a week. Take a class like AP Physics B, all of the students in that class had this teacher at some point in high school prior to taking the class, so we all knew he was capable of teaching us. But, he informed us that he would not be able to teach us a good 20-25% of the material in depth. Just like any other AP teacher he gave quizzes on each chapter, these quizzes included multiple choice and FRQs from previous tests. Altogether, I did not pass that many tests with what would be an acceptable grade on the final to keep my overall grade and GPA where it was. I knew for a fact I would struggle with this AP exam. So the logical thing for me to do, as well as others struggling with other AP courses, was to take the exam. A lot of students are now expressing concern that we are being punished for taking APs because of all of the testing we are now being forced to do. While the CTE (is that the proper acronym) students are basically getting no change except reimbursement.

Jennifer Abell said...

Thank you for your input and I apologize for not answering sooner. I just noticed your comment. For some reason my notifications of comments aren't getting to me. While you are almost done with your high school education and it may not benefit you personally, we are working to coorect the inequity. I'm open to hearing suggestions and look forward to hearing from you again.