The AP scam
October 17, 2012 5 Comments
I don’t know if AP classes are necessarily a “scam” but I really don’t think they are anywhere near the equivalent of the college classes they can give you credit for. Okay, maybe that means they are a scam. John Tierney:
- AP courses are not, in fact, remotely equivalent to the college-level courses they are said to approximate. Before teaching in a high school, I taught for almost 25 years at the college level, and almost every one of those years my responsibilities included some equivalent of an introductory American government course. The high-school AP course didn’t begin to hold a candle to any of my college courses. My colleagues said the same was true in their subjects.
- The traditional monetary argument for AP courses — that they can enable an ambitious and hardworking student to avoid a semester or even a year of college tuition through the early accumulation of credits — often no longer holds. Increasingly, students don’t receive college credit for high scores on AP courses; they simply are allowed to opt out of the introductory sequence in a major. And more and more students say that’s a bad idea, and that they’re better off taking their department’s courses.
Yep. One of the great regrets of my own college education is that I had placed out of Intro to American Government at Duke by virtue of my 5 on the AP Test (did you expect anything less ). I had a good class in high school, but I would have been so much better off with the level of complexity and challenge in one of my typical college courses than what I had in high school.