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AP Test: Today’s the day!

 After eight months of hard work and preparation, my students take the AP English Literature examination today.

Please wish them luck!

There is no way to predict how they’ll do. After all, this is the first time I’ve taught the course, so I don’t have an accurate sense of what’s considered good enough.

I’ve tried my best, and so have my students. I am hopeful that some will pass the test. But you never know. Last year, only one student passed. A talented, experienced AP teacher — whom the students loved — could not manage to eke out higher scores. That’s why I’m so scared.

Here’s the truth: My students grew a lot in reading and writing this year. I say it; they say it; their other teachers say it. Unfortunately, this growth likely won’t be enough.

For those of you out there ready to excoriate urban public education, please refrain. Instead, read this article, which tracks the surge in the AP program, along with its advantages and disadvantages. Did you know, for example, that Indiana had 21 school districts (not schools) in which no students passed any AP test last year? In short, achievement data from AP tests seems to mirror the gap we see in the rest of our public school system: On average, White and Asian students  pass, while African American and Latino students fail.

If all the stars align, I’m hoping that a few of my students will interrupt that gap. Right now, out of my class of 23 students, I am crossing my fingers that five will earn a passing score.

We’ll get the results in July. 

One comment

  1. Trisha

    Hi Mark,
    Wishing them luck and confidence and recognition of their growth regardless of their scores. I’m glad they had the opporunity to take the class. I know you prepared them well. And you taught me a new word: excoriate.

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