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(Politico)   What? Are you telling me that doing a rapid "learning" of college level material in high school at a sped up pace and having the students forget what they "learned" after six months is a bad thing? Somebody get my fainting couch   ( politico.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Advanced Placement, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, high schools, College Board, University of Northern Colorado, teacher training, college credit, net assets  
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4099 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Aug 2013 at 9:20 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-08-21 09:24:12 AM  
2 votes:
AP classes (and all of its prep, curriculum, and testing-related materials) are a cash cow for the College Board, which is the main reason the College Board works so hard to constantly push it out to schools. But the reason schools love it has absolutely nothing to do with the level of learning it provides. It has to do with the fact that most schools weight the grades received in those classes, which raises their overall GPA, which provides the illusion of school-wide improvement without actually doing anything to improve. The more kids you can push into AP classes, the better it looks like the kids are doing.
2013-08-21 08:58:30 AM  
2 votes:
And buried in the last paragraph is the real reason AP classes have been on the rise - they are a cash cow for the College Board.
2013-08-21 08:52:06 AM  
2 votes:
in our education system, probably

/electrical engineer
//hated proofs with a passion

But if you had to learn what they were, that's good. I know engineers generally don't need to ever, in their lives, prove anything, but it's at least a sort of intelligence test. If you can't do it at all, you can't be an engineer. That should be the rule.
2013-08-21 08:29:04 AM  
2 votes:
I don't know anything first hand about AP classes, since they weren't a big deal when I was in school. If a kid was a little bit ahead, he just enrolled in a few classes at either the local campus of Big State U, or maybe a JUCO if he was poor. And his high school gave him credit, and he got college credits, and everyone was happy except the testing company who made no money.
But what little I do know, or think I know, disturbs me. And that's that AP Calculus doesn't even require epsilon-delta proofs. How is that even calculus? That's just future engineer monkey-math.
So what I wonder is, are all the AP classes watered down like that?
2013-08-21 11:04:28 AM  
1 vote:

pkellmey: I took enough AP classes that I save myself a semester and a half worth of college expenses. I then tested out of enough courses to clear another semester. That came in really handy when I decided to drastically change majors mid-sophomore year. I can't think of a moment where I used anything from my university education for anything other than trivia contests. I just basically paid money for a piece of paper that I used to get a job with.

FYI - you might not be normal.

And in case you haven't figured it out - Almost every college class you ever took is secretly another class. For example - History should really be called something like "Regular construction of communications documents featuring strong argumentation and valid citation sourcing". English Lit is probably something like "Identity reconstruction with minimalist unformatted data" (great for sales) .  Calculus might be called "Analysis of continual varying processes".

It's mostly the underlying skills that you practice in a class that are the reward, not the factoids. Similarly , many classes in high school - especially those with a non-narrative presentation method - teach methods over facts. I put it to you that these methods are what you have used every day.
2013-08-21 10:48:43 AM  
1 vote:
AP courses by themselves aren't a bad thing at all - especially if there is no other alternate "honors" level class available in your high school.  At the worst, they allow some segregation of the motivated and intelligent students from the masses so they can actually try to learn something in high school, which can be hard when surrounded by mouth-breathing idiots.

The benefit of taking the tests at the end are widely variable.  The College Board rakes in cash on them, which is great for them, but only benefit the student if (A) they pass; and (B) their college gives them useful credit for the score.  Possible side-benefit of not getting a good score:  Learn that college is hard and you have to study, be serious, or adjust your expectations downward.

For me, I took a bunch of AP, scored high in all of them, but it was of limited benefit.  The math/science tests didn't give me credit toward a math/science major in college so they were useless - they were "empty credits" that show up on the transcript but don't count as a course taken in-major.  The history test was useful because I got to skip a mandatory freshman-year course which would have been a waste of my time.  The other liberal-arts courses (English, French) were partially useful - they gave me in-major general credits that I was able to use to fill up general requirements, allowing me to take out-of-major courses that otherwise would have been impossible to fit in without adding a semester.  It actually allowed me to get more of the education I wanted (and since I was paying the same amount for it regardless, that's not a bad thing) and gave me more flexibility in scheduling.
2013-08-21 08:33:15 AM  
1 vote:

rumpelstiltskin: So what I wonder is, are all the AP classes watered down like that?

in our education system, probably

/electrical engineer
//hated proofs with a passion
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