Once considered the pride of schools in this country, Advanced Placement courses have fallen out of favor (“AP Tests Are Still a Great American Equalizer,” The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 23). Many elite private and public schools have eliminated them out of concern that they place unnecessary stress on students and fail to produce the ideal racial outcome patterns.
Our competitors abroad have no such compunctions. For example, France continues to administer the bac, which is a national standardized exam consisting of a series of 10 to 12 tests over the course of a week. It is the sole requirement to move on to university.
Advanced Placement courses have never been designed for all students. They exist as evidence that students are capable of handling rigorous work in college. But because they fail to deliver the desired racial quota outcomes, they are said to be guilty of elitism. It’s why efforts are underway in New York City to eliminate the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, which has long been used as a screening device.
Standards will continue to fall across the country as long as differentiation in education in any form is considered anathema to democratization. That’s a pity because a college degree used to mean something.
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