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Their kids are apt to do fine in college and beyond, with or without AP. For the vast majority of American families, however, desperate for quality schooling and solid college prospects for their own children, this whole maneuver looks, well, snobby and smug.
So offering AP no longer makes their schools distinctive—and worth the hefty cost. They must find other ways to be different.
For as Advanced Placement has spread across American secondary education—with almost three million students sitting for more than five million exams last month—its value has diminished somewhat for kids at well-established schools like these.
The selective colleges to which most of their seniors apply are awash in candidates with AP courses and exam scores on their transcripts. While that information helps admissions officers appraising kids from little-known high schools in remote locales, those same officers already have databases on applicants from Georgetown Day School and Holton-Arms.
They can easily couple that information with scores on other tests and predict how a given applicant will fare on their campuses.
Moreover, as those same selective colleges grow fussier about conferring degree credit and acceleration based on AP exam scores—the Harvard faculty recently voted to cease offering the option of starting as a sophomore—one of the original rationales for Advanced Placement wanes.
On the other hand, solid scores on AP exams are still used, almost everywhere, Harvard included, for college course placement.
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It remains possible to skip mass-lecture introductory classes by submitting evidence of having mastered that content in high school. Perhaps the biggest sacrifice being made by the D. Advanced Placement is about as close as American K—12 education has today to a gold standard—and as close as we come to a quality national curriculum at the intersection of high school and college.Webinars.
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Anti-police protests continue across America after the Michael Brown killing. But does the black community have tough questions to answer too?
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