Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Jan 23, 2013.
Got to make sure they pay tuition for at least 8 semesters! Although I do suspect that the AP courses are becoming less rigorous. When I was in high school it was only the "creme de la creme" who got to take AP courses. Now it seems like anyone who wants to sign up for AP courses can. Yes it is egalitarian, but...? (Let's see, 1 French word and 1 French idiom... must have taken AP French in high school! )
My son actually complained about this in two of his senior year AP classes. They skipped over certain sections with the teacher giving the class the reason being that "in the last 5 years I have only seen one question on the AP exam that covered this material".
I've been lucky that the AP classes at my school don't just prepare us for the AP exam, they actually teach us all of the material too. We've covered everything somewhat equally, and haven't skipped over anything.
Kinnem, I agree, I know at most schools, kids can take it if they want too, and some schools require their students to take the AP exam even if they didn't take the class. At my school, we have 13 different AP classes, but only one class per subject, so literally...only 13 AP classes of 25 kids per class, so we do actually have to apply and be accepted. That's somewhat of a rarity though in this day and age.
There is a Public High School in our area that is listed as one of the top 5 Academic Schools in the country, I had to chuckle a bit when I read the article. The criteria for this distiction was the percentage of students enrolled in AP Courses. The issue with this school is that they require 100% student enrollment in AP Courses, I'm not kidding.
There was a lot of backlash from the students and parents of this school. Not all Colleges take the AP classes into full consideration during enrollment, some will use the AP class as tie breaker when looking at two applications. The problem was that many students at this school were getting lower GPA's due to having to take the full load of AP classes.
The state did a study and found that students from other schools that had a balance of AP and regular classes and had higher GPA's were gaining acceptance to certain colleges over the students at the high school that required a full AP class load.
The high school has backed away from the 100% AP just a bit but the issue is still ongoing. I guess they liked the National Distinction over what was good for the students.
To be honest I am not upset by this news. When I finally got to "real" college I was surprised by the lack of rigor displayed by my previous AP curriculum. I didn't personally use any of AP credit in college but I know many who got out of some of the tougher LA classes/ gen eds such as philosophy (some of the other APs counted for phil ), hard sciences and upper division literature by providing AP test scores or showing a community college DTA transcript with sub-par class difficulty.
AP classes vary in difficulty from school to school and the difficulty of the tests varies as well. I am not surprised by Dartmouth's move on this one.
The tests themselves are certainly uniform nationally are they not? Or did you mean the difficulty of the test varies across subjects?
Subjects. I found some of the tests to be rather difficult while others were surprisingly easy. It must also be noted that I wasn't particularly better at any of the subjects so it kind of surprised me.
Even though the quality of colleges classes certainly varies with the subject I was just surprised that the history AP test was a lot harder than physics or calculus and I do consider myself rather proficient with world history.
HAHAHA! I'd probably find an AP History test of any sort rather easy. But ask me the mass of an electron? Not so much. Had to beg my way into a senior level Astrophysics/Astronomy course to get the three hours I needed in science to graduate. Of course I was sure to take it in the winter when it was either too cloudy or too cold to hold lab!!! Gotta plan ahead! It was that or Physics of the Playground.
Funny you mention Astronomy haha, that is the class all of the non-science majors take in ROTC to fulfil their graduation requirements
Haha Strategic planning at it's best!
in my civilian college day it was entomology.
I'm surprised that high level universities allow AP for credit. They have their standards at Dartmouth.
I always found it disturbing that you could get college credit for taking a 3-hour exam. It seems that for language based disciplines, you cannot adequately test research paper writing skills, nor can you really expect a thoroughly thought out thesis on any random topic.
I took a couple AP exams in the day (American and European Histories). I actually had a superior teacher for the European History who expected us to not only know the nuts and bolts (who what where when), but had us studying the corresponding art, music, and philosophy works from the tested era. She tested us not only with past AP European History essay questions, but also the Art History exams as well. Still one of my favorite teachers.
I also took freshman English and Philosophy classes at the local community college while a Senior in HS. I chose my professors well as both worked as adjunct staff (with full PhDs) teaching the same courses at a nearby top-20 university (which also had credit transfer agreements in place for the coursework). Much better than taking AP English. I'd rather see students take real college courses from real college professors if they have truly mastered HS coursework. Nothing against HS teachers, but most of them do not have advanced degrees in the coursework they teach. When an instructor is teaching closer to the limits of their own personal knowledge, it is more difficult for them to paint the bigger picture of where the material takes the student.
Why do they keep teaching AP courses (and all their ugly step siblings by other names) at HS? Because parents want to believe their children are further ahead than they really are and are willing to pay extra for the ego massage. And building that self-esteem is absolutely critical. lol
I agree 1000% with you!
Our DS2 and I were discussing this issue on Monday, and I told him that when I was in HS, there were maybe 4 APs. History, Calc, Physics and Eng. Not everything from AP Human Geneology to AP Bio.
I do like the system that our kids had in NC. You can't take AP Bio until you already took Honors Bio. It isn't the choice of std., honors and AP, thus, kids graduate with far less APs.
For my kids colleges, all APs even with 5s, only really amounted to validating because they already figured out how to circumvent the system...it is easy to do...they will require a class and that class will only be offered 1x a yr. For ex. if you did get that credit, which would be the pre-req for the next level course, be out of luck for the fall because the next level course won't be offered until spring.
DS had a ton of AP credits and he still graduated in 4 yrs because of the system the school had in place. All it did was give him a better chance at admissions for what is considered a more rigorous course load than others.
If we as parents were honest, the amount of things we make our kids endure in the name of college admissions is unreal. We ourselves would get a TWE from every college if we used our HS transcripts today against theirs.
Here's my pet peeve when talking about things like AP tests...SAT/ACT superscoring. Back in our day you were the walking genius to get a 1400, now it is avg. Why? Because in our day you only took it 2x before they started to avg all of your SATs, and there was no mix and match. Now you can take it 25 times if you could afford it.
How is that really determining anything at all regarding their academic abilities?
Depends on how you define "academic" abilities. If the abilities include ability to determine what the requirement is (I.e. highest SAT score) and ability to focus and take actions (I.e. take SAT 25 times), yes.
There are a lot of universities; including high end; that expect and almost require that you took AP/IB type classes in high school if you're applying to that university. However; many don't give any college credit for the classes. Similar to the academies. If you took AP/IB classes in high school, it definitely helps in your application; but the academies don't give you college credit. You can test/place out of certain classes, which will allow you the slot to take possibly a higher level class, but it's not like you're going to get to graduate early. Matter of fact, I like how the academy, even if you have an associates or bachelor's degree; you're still doing 4 years.
While I've never dogged AP classes, I've preferred the IB program over AP. It's international and standardized. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of schools offer the IB program. AP classes can be offered onezi - twozi. I think the academy, as well as high end schools like Harvard, Princeton, stanford, etc... are a good place to measure the effectiveness of high schools. Unfortunately, no one is using the data. For instance; at the academy, the average gpa of the entering class from high school, is a 3.86. The overwhelming majority of students took AP, IB, or some form of honor/upper level classes in high school. The majority of incoming cadets were highly ranked in their high schools.......... YET............ At the academy, you have a certain sector of the class that graduates with a 3.85-4.00 gpa, while there's many that graduate in the 2.00-3.00 range. In theory; if all cadets coming in were truly at the same level, educationally/academically, the academies and universities wouldn't have to curve tests and grades. Obviously, not everyone coming to the academy or going to college is as academically prepared as they thought they were.
So I for one don't believe in ANY TYPE of classes that high school students take that give you any type of "COLLEGE CREDIT". You're NOT in college. You are IN High School. They should mandate that kids, instead of taking extra college level classes, or even actual college classes part time, be involved in activities that better prepare teenagers "SOCIALLY". Kids should be mandated to be better physically fit; play sports; be involved with clubs; volunteer time; etc... We here about all the kids who are social rejects, bullied, bullying, drugs, teen pregnancy, crime, etc... If as much emphasis was placed on kids being socially and physically prepared as they are to take advanced or college prep classes, our society would be so much better off. And who's the genius who decided that all kids NEED TO GO TO COLLEGE??? No,,,, they DON'T. Unfortunately, in our modern society, "Most" people are either classified as 1) Winner: Went to college; or 2) Loser: Didn't go to college. Need to stop writing. This topic is really starting to pi$$ me off.
Yes, that is what I mean MemberLG.
Can you imagine a teacher allowing a kid to take a test over and over again, one that has multiple choice and essay sections, than taking the best of each section to give them a final score compared to 1 test, and a make up test to improve the score?
Which one really shows their academic grasp on the material?
Here's the irony of AFA and AFROTC. AFA superscores, AFROTC is best sitting; no mix or match to get the highest score. Granted you can take it 25 times for both, but you can't play the game, study your arse for 1 section, and leave the other alone, than study for the other the next time. VOILA...2 strong portions.
As far as I know AFROTC is the only ROTC HSSP does that system.
I have no sour grapes on this issue. DS had 1390 super score 2 SATs, 33/34 (can't remember) 1 shot ACT. I am just saying IMPO, he could have taken them both 6 more times and up that score a lot, but does it mean academically a 1590 candidate(8 times) with the same cgpa is better than the 1390 with 2 times?
I just think the current superscoring system is inane. Just like I think the SAT/ACT writing is BS! Writing section is subjective, thus the person grading it has their own perspective of what is an 800. A couple of yrs ago a HS student proved it. He and classmates wrote a long essay with more grammatical errors, they got 800's. They than did a shorter essay with no grammatical errors and scored in the mid 600's. Basically showing that it was more about length than quality.
I am guessing that is why most colleges still to this date do not place WR SAT in their equation, and request their own essays for admissions.
Not every HS has AP/IB choice. Some schools only have one and colleges know this when they request the transcript from the HS.
Our youngest 2 had a choice of 3 options, AP, IB and AICE. AICE required they took either AP or IB. However, at their school the AP program is different than IB. IB required certain IB classes from day one. DD transferred in as a jr., accepted to AICE, but because her school in NC did not have IB, she had to do the AP route. She graduated Magna, her only non-AP was 11th grade PE (state requirement).
AICE is the Cambridge Program. It is only offered at 2 schools in the entire county, and you must test to get in. They are considered the magnet schools.
When she got to VT, all it did was validate out of the freshman 100-200 class sizes for Eng 101. They said to her according the HS description that does not meet up with our college curriculum for X class. We will give you credits, for it, but you still need to take our course.
Our eldest in NC had no AICE option, instead he had jump start. 1/2 day at HS, 1/2 day at CC. We were floored when his college did not accept the CC classes towards his degree. Their reasoning was that was from an OOS CC. All of those classes were in his major. He later on used them for his minor and core degree. His APs were also not accepted for his major, but credits.
He graduated with a Dual Major, a minor and a core because those APs/jump start allowed him to validate lower tier courses, and the higher ones went to his degree.
Dartmouth may not use AP for college credit anymore, but they may use it for validation.
I am not dogging AP, I think kids should take it, but I think in no shape or form it should be used for more than validating Eng 101.
OBTW, if we are discussing ticked off, what ticks me off is these kids starting at 13, 14,15 are all about college. Where is their youth. The fact that we have some posters asking questions for class of 20 is frightening IMPO. Maybe I skipped a beat, but aren't 17's waiting for decisions? The 20 class are in 9th grade now. When will they be a kid? If this is on their mind now, beefing up their resume: sports, volunteering, school leadership, job, studying for SAT/ACT taking AP classes, just for a chance, when will they be just a kid?
You know, hanging out playing Xbox, going to the movies, etc?
Looking at some of these resumes, they work more hours than the avg 40 yr old does FT. FB for our DS was daily 6-6 p.m M-F, 6 am -11 pm on game day. He school bus picked him up at 6:20 a.m. PT job or volunteering 10 hrs a week would mean 6 days a week. Add in AP/IB classes and homework + studying for the SAT, and you are at 70 hrs a week. I get they have summer, but than again, our FB DS had training from 6-4 M-F all summer starting 3 weeks after school ended. FB played into SAT testing too.
Now add a spring sport into the equation for 4 yrs.
I ask again when do they have time to be a teenager? Are we as parents making them grow up too fast from an emotional POV?
JMPO, it goes back to what goaliedad stated...Because parents want to believe their children are further ahead than they really are and are willing to pay extra for the ego massage
No. Not a good comparison, questions on SAT/ACT changes, so you are not taking the same test over and over again. Another difference here is that the applicants makes the choice on how many times they want to take the SAT/ACT.
From my perspective, when you know West Point superscores, not taking SAT/ACT several times is being lazy. Yes, I know taking SAT/ACT is painful, but no pain no gain.
I don't agree with the heavy emphasis on the SAT scores, but I am not the director of the admissions. My point is know the rules, follow the rules, agreeing or disagreeing doesn't change the rules.
I agree with you on this, that was one of the problem with the school I mentioned earlier that required 100% AP participation. Many students quit sports and found they had little time for other school activities, clubs, or outside activities. Being a well rounded young person became a challenge for may students.
Separate names with a comma.