This is a really good piece of investigative writing by Alina Tugend on the value of Advanced Placement courses. It doesn’t answer the question posed in the headline of this post but it supplies valuable information and poses the right questions.

I was interviewed and what really bothers me about the demand for “AP for All” is the implicit assumption that taking a rigorous course and failing the exam will improve educational opportunity. As I say in the article, if this is the goal of the College Board, why not offer the test for free? It is easy to forget that the College Board is a business, not a charity.

There are other ways to reduce the achievement gaps instead of putting kids in a class where the reading level is far beyond their reach and they are near certain to fail.

Although AP was originally designed for elite high schools, some of them have dropped it because their own classes are equally demanding. And some elite college don’t give credit for AP courses.

So the strongest claim of the College Board these days is that their tests supply equity. No standardized test has ever increased equity. They are designed not to. If your primary interest is civil rights, fight for funding and desegregation, not a better standardized test.