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The Truth About APs

Hello my fellow parents, and welcome!

I live in a college town, so my fourth of July barbecue landed me at a picnic table gnawing on grilled corn on the cob (perfectly charred) and ribs (fabulous, fell right off the bone) between a sociology professors and an anthropology professor, with a math professor nibbling on potato salad across the table.

Sociology prof: “What nobody tells our kids is that AP classes are a lot harder than their college equivalents.”

Anthropology prof: “Oh yes, I wouldn’t give my graduate students as much reading as teachers assign for AP Euro.”

Math prof: (wipes his mouth on a red, white and blue napkin shaped like a star) “My department at the university doesn’t give AP Calculus credit anymore, even for students who earn a five. The kids just memorize for the AP exam but don’t understand the math. All that lost sleep for nothing.”

High school senior son of the sociologist sidling up to the table: “My school’s competitive culture makes me feel like I have to load up on AP classes to get into college.”

A college graduate chiming in: “Getting rid of APs would’ve helped with the high school’s segregation problem.”

There was more involving me with a plateful of naked rib bones and a ragged corn cob, wishing I had dental floss, heartbroken and fuming, but I suspect you get the gist. NO SHAME whether your child is registered for AP classes next year or not. The key question to ask yourself: Does taking an AP class or AP exam benefit my child more than it benefits the College Board’s coffers? See my free resource To Take or Not to Take AP Exams: That Is the Question for help determining the answer.

You may fume as I did when I learned just how much money the College Board, a registered non-profit, is profiting from their AP program. You can follow the money here, and you can learn more about the history of the AP program that might make you question your assumptions here.

Here’s your sanity saver by Buffalo Springfield, a fun throwback with thought-provoking lyrics that are surprisingly relevant when it comes to our children and APs. I hope you’re enjoying your summer and that despite all that AP Bio summer homework, your child is enjoying theirs too.



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