Monday, July 29, 2013

Dumbing Down the AP to Match the CCSS | PWC Education Reform Blog

Dumbing Down the AP to Match the CCSS | PWC Education Reform Blog:

Dumbing Down the AP to Match the CCSS

Since their inception Advanced Placement, or AP, courses have been in high demand in high schools across the country.  The content and sequence of instruction in AP courses is designed by The College Board.  AP courses are supposed to be as rigorous and challenging as a college level course.  Students take AP exams on fixed dates across the nation and their scores determine whether they can get college credit for the courses they’ve taken.  In theory the AP should save parents of college bound children money as their children, assuming they score high enough on their AP exams, will enter college with courses already completed.
Unfortunately, the course requirements and sequence of instruction under the Common Core State Standards don’t align with the requirements for the College Board’s AP exams, so the AP exams and courses are being redesigned to reflect the Common Core. According to The College Board, “The College Board is removing extraneous details from the AP course requirements and making AP classes less about simple memorization and more about critical thinking and synthesizing information. The AP is about taking a college course and giving a recipe for students.”
Thus far The College Board has revamped the AP Biology, Latin and Spanish Literature exams.  They are currently revamping the AP Chemistry and Spanish Language exams.
Math, as has become all too predictable, is proving to be difficult to align, particularly AP Calculus.  “AP Calculus is in conflict