Thursday, May 24, 2007

So, your kid didn't "pass" his/her AP exam?

It's not a total loss. And it's not unusual! The national rate of "passing" an AP exam with a score of 3, 4, or 5 is only around 60%.

According to Jay Mathews, Newsweek contributing editor and Washington Post education reporter, in the May 28, 2007 issue of Newsweek: "AP and IB are important because they give average students a chance to experience the trauma of heavy college reading lists and long, analytical college examinations. Studies by U.S. Department of Education senior researcher Clifford Adelman in 1999 and 2005 showed that the best predictors of college graduation were not good high-school grades or test scores, but whether or not a student had an intense academic experience in high school. Such experiences were produced by taking higher-level math and English courses and struggling with the demands of college-level courses like AP or IB. Two recent studies looked at more than 150,000 students in California and Texas and found if they had passing scores on AP exams they were more likely to do well academically in college.

"To send a student off to college without having had an AP or IB course and test is like insisting that a child learn to ride a bike without ever taking off the training wheels. It is dumb, and in my view a form of educational malpractice."

Newsweek just published their new list of "America's Best High Schools."

My own two personal children, both graduates of Heidelberg High School, took a total of ten AP classes and eight exams (they didn't used to require them). They were both excellent students, but only one exam received a score of 5, two were 3's, and the rest were 2's and 1's. They both went on to perform very well in prestigious, very selective colleges. They both felt very prepared for the rigors of college course work, thanks in part to AP participation.

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