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Addvanced Placement Testing – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

USA Today reported that while the number of students taking the Advanced Placement Tests “hit a record high last year”, the number of students who failed to reach a 3 score (in order to gain credit) fell.  Last year 2.9 million examinations were taken in order to gain college-level credit.  The newspaper found that more than two in five students (41.5%) earned a failing score of 1 or 2, up from 36.5% in 1999. In the South, nearly half of all tests- 48.4% earned a 1 or 2.

The newspaper also reported that “more students, rewarded by weighted grades, and in some cases, cash payments,are taking the bait.”

Schools have pushed Advanced Placement testing as a means of increasing student performance and have failed to adequately prepare both teachers and students for the rigor of the higher standards demanded from Advanced Placement courses.  There needs to be an investment of time, funding and preparation if school districts and principals which to offer advanced placement. Not doing so is deceptive to students, parents and the community and in the long run, is harmful to everyone.

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