Tagged: ap test

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No response from students yet on their AP results

favicon The results from the AP test came back last month, and students received them a few weeks ago.

So why haven’t I heard anything from my students yet?

Is it because they’re upset with the results and don’t want to express their anger? Is it because they’re embarrassed and think I’m disappointed? Or is it just because it’s summer?

Before I left for my vacation, I texted one of my students to let me know when he received his results. He said he would. Then just a few days ago, I got a text from another student who had a question about college. No mention of her AP test results.

It’s very strange, especially because my students and I communicated daily during the school year.

I’m not sure what my next steps should be.

Should I maintain the silence and wait? Should I reach out to students individually? Or should I just forget about everything?

Please let me know what you think!

Update: A loyal reader tweeted, “What would you want your teacher to do, for you, in a similar circumstance?” What a perfect question. This led me today to start reaching out to students, one by one, by text.

So far I’ve texted six and heard back from three. They’re disappointed, sure, but not overly so, and they don’t harbor resentment or frustration. Instead, they enjoyed hearing from me and were excited to talk about college.

Most important, my students understand that the AP test is just one opportunity of many. One student wrote, “I was (disappointed) and I know you were too. I will not let a test define me!” favicon

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What’s unfair about AP, #4

 It has been a few days since my students took the AP English Literature examination. Now it’s time to do a little reflection.

The good news is that my students felt prepared and were generally happy about their performance on the test. Also good was that my students reported that the test was a fair one. (Teachers never get to see the multiple-choice section and receive the essay prompts at a later date.)

But there was plenty bad news, too.

For one, the testing space — a middle-school science laboratory, complete with Bunsen burners — was incredibly uncomfortable for my students. The lab stools were high and didn’t have chair backs. Yes, lots of discomfort. When I tested the stools, they didn’t seem uncomfortable to me, but then again, I didn’t have to remain immobile for three hours.

Several students reported that they spent an entire hour writing their essays standing up. One student said he had to sprawl out on top of the lab table in order to complete his last essay.

Horrible conditions, right? Actually, no. For our school, this was the best testing space we’ve had in years, and it took considerable work on the part of the administration. In the past, students have had to take their tests next to loud classrooms or down in cold basement storage.

I told my friend about my students’ testing room. She reminded me that we took our AP tests in a lush Hewlett-Packard conference room.

It’s just another thing that’s unfair about the AP. Because schools must furnish the testing space for students, underfunded urban schools get short shrift.

That’s right: Every student across the country takes the exact same test, but my students — who already have to scrap to pass it — have to overcome a makeshift space. They don’t mind; they’ve done it all their lives.

But it’s still bothersome. 

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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.