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The College Board’s Unexpected Change in Education

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The College Board’s Unexpected Change in Education

One of many old textbooks that are no longer in use

One of many old textbooks that are no longer in use

Varun Vedula

One of many old textbooks that are no longer in use

Varun Vedula

Varun Vedula

One of many old textbooks that are no longer in use

Varun Vedula, Feature Editor

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For many high achieving students around the United States, Advanced Placement, or AP, classes are a perfect way to prove themselves as hardworking students to colleges. At Pleasant Valley, this is no different. However, many AP courses have begun to take a turn for the worst, reducing creativity and critical thinking skills in students.

AP classes are courses designed by The College Board, a non-profit organization representing thousands of colleges around the world. This organization is also responsible for the SAT test that many colleges require students to take as part of the admissions process.

College Board’s created these courses with the goal of emulating introductory college courses. These curriculums are standardized for every school, requiring students to take a final AP exam at the end of the course to show mastery of the subject.

However, for many at PV, AP classes and exams have become a burden. Instead of emulating a college course, many students have found that the AP program has become more of a game. Simply knowing what will be on the exam is all that is necessary to earn a high score. Senior Nate Roethler finds this especially frustrating, for he feels pressured to take these courses in order to show colleges rigor in his class selection, but finds interest or use in the class. “I wish I could learn what I want to learn instead of feeling forced by colleges to take AP classes,” he says, “Many of the engineering courses look interesting to me, but because I am pressured to take an AP class my senior year, I am unable to explore my real passion.”

For teachers too, AP courses have ruined their teaching experiences. No longer can many new courses be filled with students, so the variety in classes during course registration has slowly declined. Instead of having many course options, including classes such as Zoology, too many students are now taking AP courses. According to Science Teacher Craig Parker, “There are pros and cons to each option in this dilemma. It’s all about finding a balance in the rigor that AP classes teaches and the breadth of knowledge that other types of classes offer.”

It is no doubt that AP courses can teach valuable information that will prepare students for colleges. But are these AP courses worth losing the opportunity to choose our own education?

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The College Board’s Unexpected Change in Education