Sorry, Goldilocks--it's hot or cold
Advanced Placement enrollment has exploded, and several schools in the Washington, D.C., area have gone so far as to eliminate conventional honors courses altogether because, they claim, AP provides students more academic rigor and holds them to higher expectations. But sixteen-year-old Lucie Blauvelt, a junior at Maryland's Rockville High School, remains unconvinced that throwing everyone into AP classes is such a great idea: "There's some students who are just honor students. They don't have the ability to push themselves into AP." The teenager speaks the truth. AP was designed for heavy-hitters, high school students who thirst for challenging, college-level material. Some honors pupils are doubtless capable of meeting AP's standards, but other students are either going to drag down the discourse in their AP classes or become frustrated with the rapid teaching pace and revert to less-challenging regular courses. Despite what our good friend Jay Mathews tells you, AP is not for everyone.
"Honors Courses Give Way to AP Rigor," by Daniel de Vise, Washington Post, May 19, 2008