This comment by a reader called Montana Teacher continues a discussion of the value of AP courses. My observation: AP courses are a big money-maker for the College Board, which on its face is nonprofit, but aggressively pursues opportunities to generate revenues, like claiming that access to AP courses promotes equity.

Other posts are here and here.

Montana Teacher writes:

“Thank you for all of your comments on AP. I have several observations from my experience in our high school:

–The AP curricula is strong; however, it is not the ONLY curricula. For example, what the College Board has chosen to emphasize in English (such as tone or rhetorical devices) is perfectly fine, but this is just one way to teach English. I find that, in our school, the weight given to AP squelches our abilities to teach in other, creative ways. At my liberal arts college, the beauty was that each professor was stunningly unique, and that made learning so exciting. It makes teaching exciting, too.

–If the AP course is truly being taught at a college level, then the teacher should have a college-type schedule in order to handle the preparation and paper grading. In other words, how can a true college-level course be taught by someone who is teaching six periods, five days a week? This isn’t fair to the students if the teacher can’t keep up–or it’s not fair to the teacher, who is asked to do too much.

–If the AP course is truly being taught at the college level, then these high school kids who take many AP classes are being overloaded and over-stressed. To not be overloaded, students are forced to choose between too-easy classes or too-rigorous classes. Why not have just-the-right-amount-of-rigor classes so students can take every subject at that level, and not be forced to sacrifice one subject for another?

–How can college credit be given in courses that are taught by people who do not have master’s or doctorate degrees?

–Why do colleges accept AP credit? Isn’t this a money-losing proposition for them? How did this ever get started? I suppose that colleges fear losing students.

–The two-for-the-price-of-one mentality is permeating everything. It seems that everyone I know is in favor of dual credit classes, often to improve economic outcomes, not educational outcomes. This must be due to the high price of college . . .

–Lastly, where is the discussion on what is developmentally appropriate for our youth? Freshman English was a marvelous time in my day to read, discuss, and explore at a time when one was away from parents in a new place with a real professor–we were developmentally ready to read and write and wonder and grow. I am saddened that many students will not have this opportunity because they took “college” English as a 16-year-old.”