Monday, June 18, 2018

Several well-known private schools in the D.C. area are scrapping Advanced Placement classes

...Seven prominent private schools in the D.C. area plan to eliminate Advanced Placement classes over the next four years, asserting in an unusual joint statement Monday that the program has “diminished utility,” is not necessary for college-bound students and puts too much emphasis on speedy assimilation of course material and memorization.
With their move, the schools drew attention to a quiet pushback against AP in certain quarters of the education world even as the program has gained enormous influence in American high schools as a nationally recognized credential for motivated students and a stepping-stone to college. These critics decry what they perceive as the regimentation of the AP schedule and course content, with classes pointed toward high-stakes tests in May.
“Too much minutiae. Too much emphasis on test preparation,” said Patty Carver, a veteran teacher at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Md., one of the seven that is dropping AP. Carver said she is excited about retooling the AP Environmental Science course that she had taught for nine years. She will rename it Advanced Global Applications in Environmental Science.
The other schools dropping AP are Sidwell Friends, Georgetown Day, National Cathedral and St. Albans in the District of Columbia, as well as Landon in Bethesda and Potomac in McLean, Va. Maret School in the District, which has never offered AP classes, joined in the anti-AP statement. Students at the seven schools will still be able to take AP tests, but the schools are phasing out their affiliation with the brand...

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