Saturday, September 18, 2010

We Need to Get Things Right

Look, I get that most of you don't have the time or inclination to fact-check as Charlie and I do (and we still get it wrong sometimes). But please, please do NOT say something as fact unless you can give actual valid numbers.

There was a great discussion going at the thread about Garfield being overcrowded and whether this means the high school APP cohort should be split and where they might go if they had a two-high school cohort or even just shoot them off to their area high school. I think there were some great ideas/analysis (and I hope the district/Board reads it and considers it).

However, there were a couple of places where I read things stated as fact (without real numbers backing it up) and assumptions (without explanation of why that assumption could be true).

To whit, there was this:

"Splitting up APP at the high school level would make many more AP classes available in different high schools."

Of course it would be a plus if more high schools had more AP but how do we know that if we dispersed the APP cohort the district would beef if AP everywhere? If you make a statement like that, could you please explain why you believe it to be true (or false as the case may be)?

My take is this: there is no true APP program at the high school level so the district's attempt to serve those students is to keep them together at Garfield and have a high number of AP classes available. However, Ballard, Roosevelt and others have almost as many. ALL the high schools with a course catalog available online appear to have AP classes. Most of them have at least 4 basic AP classes in LA, math, science and foreign language. (Center appears to only have 2 AP and I can't access Nova's course catalog but I doubt it.)

Then there was this:

And BTW Ingraham offers many AP classes in addition to IB classes. In fact they offer more AP classes than Hale does, and almost as many as Roosevelt. And that's in addition to the full IB class offerings and diploma program.

This struck me as odd because Ingraham is committed to its IB program. To have trained teachers for both IB and AP and offer both types of classes seemed unlikely. I checked and neither Ingraham nor Chief Sealth's course catalogs have AP classes listed. Whoever wrote the above, please check information before you post it (or everyone, take everything with a grain of salt unless the person says how they know this information.)

IB is a very specific program. At Ingraham, anyone can take an IB class (just like anyone can take an AP class save for ones that need specific backgrounds like math or foreign language); you don't have to be in the IB program. So if you want a higher level class at Ingraham, you'd take the IB one. But it would be very difficult for any school to offer both AP and IB.

We are here to help each other. It's fine to state your experience or your opinion but please, if you state something factual explain where you read it/saw it/heard it.

47 comments:

wsnorth said...

When reviewing high schools we searched high and low to try to find out how many AP classes (and IB equivalents) various schools had. Isn't the real problem here the district's lack of transparency? Why don't they just publish this info, other than the dearth of advanced classes at some schools may be an embarrassment.

Rabbit said...

According to the Seattle Times school guide (which is two years old, so things could have changed)

Ingraham offers:

7 AP classes, in 5 subjects
42 IB classes, in 9 subjects

http://community.seattletimes.
nwsource.com/schoolguide/profile
.php?building_id=3276

Maureen said...

Things change year to year. Roosevelt offered AP Chemistry at some point. Last spring they listed Organic/BioChem but it was cancelled this year so the teachers could cover more lower level science classes. I don't know what the most useful information would be. Maybe the number of teachers who are qualified to teach AP? (But what if they leave?) Maybe a list of core AP classes the school 'promises' to teach every year and a supplementary list of AP course that have been taught within the past four years and/or they plan to teach in the near future?

Garfield dropped French altogether for awhile last year. So what if your sophomore was already two years in? A kid would have to go to Running Start or pay for a summer course if they wanted three years of a language for college. Schools aren't required to offer French or AP Chem or AP Calc B/C.

What is reasonable for families to expect? I really don't know.

Josh Hayes said...

Frankly, it's not clear to me what constitutes an "AP" class. If my (for example) 9th-grade son in Ingraham is enrolled in the 10th-grade math class, is that an AP class? Or is he just working about grade level? And what's the difference - the same material but with all 9th graders, or what?

Frankly, I don't care about the names for the classes. If my kids can take classwork appropriate to their level of expertise, then I'm happy, even if none of those classes are called "AP".

So is this a matter of semantics? I could certainly see that some areas of endeavor, like, say, literature, could be more or less free from "grade level" restrictions and could instead really delve into, what, Romantic poets. But in math and science, it's hard for me to see anything but a level of difficulty being relevant. Am I nuts?

Josh Hayes said...

Grrr. Line 5:

s/about/above

uxolo said...

Josh,
An AP class for high school students is a class that ends with an exam given (at the school) published by the College Board. If the student scores a 4 or a 5 on this AP exam, when your kid goes to college, the college may then accept that high school course for college credit. Many competitive colleges expect kids to take the most rigorous course load offered in the school.
Something new at Garfield this year is that the non-AP class, Marine Biology earns credit at UW if the kid goes to UW.

The Seattle program APP stands for Accelerated Progress Program - just an acronym that is constantly confused with the national AP label.

Oh, and French is available this year at Garfield.

beansa said...

AP is a specific program run by the College Board. AP classes are meant to get students ready for the AP exam in that subject. Many colleges & universities offer credit for high scores on the AP exams (usually 3 or higher on a scale of 1-5). The classes are supposed to be more rigorous than a regular high school class in the same subject, and AP classes are usually weighted when calculating GPA, so an A grade in and AP class is worth 5 points rather than the usual 4 points.

I had friends in school who were able to get most of their freshman college credits through the AP program.

Charlie Mas said...

The College Board recently started to require AP class teachers to file their syllabus for approval. The College Board is trying to do some oversight to confirm that AP classes actually do prepare students for the AP test and actually do cover the college-level content that is on the test.

seattle citizen said...

beansa said, "AP classes are usually weighted when calculating GPA, so an A grade in and AP class is worth 5 points rather than the usual 4 points."

Under the new weighted grading formula, it's not just "usual," but ANY class that is above "level" is weighted. AP, IB, Honors (even if its extra work for an honors designation in an at-level class, which is how some schools are offering the mandated "Honors" option).

Weighted grades (as beanse indicates) add points to GPA - a 4.0 becomes a 5.0 for AP, and a 4.5 for honors. The normal HS transcript will not show this, but a supplemental transcript that includes the weighted grades can be ordered, to be submitted to colleges and the like.

hschinske said...

The materials I've seen from Garfield said that the weighted grades are used for class rank, but not for regular GPA.

My daughter is taking AP Stats at Nova this year. That's the only AP class that appears on their current schedule, but courses at Nova are pretty fluid and they may well have had other APs in different years.

Helen Schinske

Charlie Mas said...

I would like to speak the naive belief that "Splitting up APP at the high school level would make many more AP classes available in different high schools."

The thinking here is that if there is a demand for an educational service, that our schools would naturally respond to that demand by providing the service.

There is absolutely no evidence to support such a contention.

Let's begin with the fact that there are about 400 high school APP students. If they were evenly distributed among the high schools (and they would not be), then disbursing the program would add about 40 students to each school, about ten per grade. Even if AP classes were suitable for these students, there would not be enough students to justify the creation of the classes. Yes, more would end up at Roosevelt and Ballard than the other schools, but those schools already have a lot of AP classes. Does anyone think that scattering high school APP would put enough former APP students at Rainier Beach and West Seattle to justify the creation of additional sections of AP classes at either of these schools?

Even if it did, that doesn't mean that the schools would offer the classes.

I am very sorry to report that just because there is a demand for academic service DOES NOT mean that the school will provide it. I can name any number of examples, but I will provide two which speak most directly to this topic.

At Roosevelt, about half of the sophomore class used to choose to take AP European History. The remaining half of the class took the standard 10th grade Social Studies class. The school now requires all 10th grade students to take AP Human Geography. While this might represent a step up in rigor for the students who would have otherwise taken the standard class (that remains unclear), it is DEFINITELY a step down in rigor for the students who would have otherwise taken AP European History. This is a case in which there was plenty of demand for a class and the school refuses to offer it.

There have been a number of people who, for years, have wanted AP classes at Hale, yet Hale has refused to offer them.

Whether you support the position of the schools or not - and there are plenty of smart, well-infomred and well-intentioned people on both sides of each of these issues - the simple fact remains that the schools do not provide the opportunity despite the presence of the demand. And these schools would not offer the AP classes even if high school APP were dismantled.

seattle citizen said...

Right, hschinske - The weighted grade for AP, IB or Honors (in-class Honors option, or Honors class) effects class rank. Weighted grade will not show up on regular transcript, but an additional transcript for college submission, et al, can be requested.

Charlie Mas said...

The NOVA Project re-writes their course offerings each semester based on a democratic process at the beginning of each semester. They can have AP classes if they want to.

As for college-level work, NOVA students take a lot of Running Start classes just a few blocks away at Seattle Central Community College and can take AP classes (and others) at Garfield (or any other high school) on a space available basis.

Melissa Westbrook said...

WS North, yes, they SHOULD publish this info as it is a drag to have to do all the work to figure it out.

Rabbit, I looked at Ingraham's 2010-2011 course catalog for my info. I couldn't find an AP class. I wouldn't go by the Times.

An IB class is "like" an AP class in that it probably goes deeper and faster. (Actually AP goes wider; they get ding as "an inch deep and a mile wide".) Taking the IB class is certainly more difficult than the regular ed class and college admissions officers would note that. Those admissions officers are looking for evidence that students took higher level courses like IB, AP, honors or Running Start. That said, they generally don't recognize honors as much as they term varies greatly from school to school. AP and IB are recognized programs with standardized curriculums.

Again, my point is making sure that this blog is as accurate as possible so that folks don't get burned if they are depending on that information. (That said, you and you alone are responsible for understanding what your high school offers.)

Thanks for the info on Nova; they don't have a website so it is difficult to figure out how it works.

hschinske said...

I don't know that Garfield is allowing Nova students to take classes there these days, especially with the overcrowding going on and the increased distance between the schools. Ted Howard was cracking down on that even before Garfield got so crowded: when my daughter transferred to Nova in the middle of her freshman year, she was not able to finish her Japanese course at Garfield even though there was room in the class and the teacher agreed.

Nova students were also told at some point that if they showed up at Garfield without permission to be there that they would be considered to be trespassing (which of course is the normal policy between schools, but there used to be a de facto loosening of the rules where Garfield and Nova were concerned).

Helen Schinske

hschinske said...

Okay, Melissa, that's new: Ingraham most certainly did have AP courses when my kids and I toured it a couple of years ago, and my memory is that the Seattle Times description was accurate. I remember AP psychology specifically (dunno why I remember that, maybe because it seemed like an odd choice when they had only a few AP courses, but it fit in with a particular program they had) and they have IB psychology now. Perhaps the AP courses were placeholders until they could get IB ones (special training needed or something? I am totally speculating here).

Helen Schinske

Rabbit said...

"There have been a number of people who, for years, have wanted AP classes at Hale, yet Hale has refused to offer them"

Charlie, did you mean Hale does not offer "honors" classes? Though Hale does not offer self contained honors classes they do offer honors credit in almost every course they offer.

As for AP courses: Hale has 7 AP courses that are self contained and and stand alone. They also offer 1 AP class that is not self contained. It is an addendum course in a "regular" class.

They could sure offer more AP courses, and it is true that parents have asked for more for years. In the past, parents who wanted more AP course options chose Roosevelt (if they could get in). Not sure if the NSAP and limited choice will cause families to DEMAND more AP from Hale.

Rabbit said...
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Rabbit said...
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Rabbit said...

Things change in SPS faster than we can blink our eyes. Everyone will inevitably make a mistake here or there. And while I appreciate Melissa's call for fact checking, I hope she understands that none of us are professional reporters. We are just parents (and teachers/staff) sharing info with each other.

Charlie just wrote that Hale does not offer any AP classes. That is totally false. But I wouldn't jump all over him (though I did correct his info), because I value his contributions to this blog, and I understand that with the massive amounts of info out there, and the constant changes in SPS, there will inevitable be some misinformation. No biggie really.

AP classes were indeed offered at Ingraham at least up until last year. They said so very proudly on the tour that I attended. I was impressed because in addition to their full IB offerings, they still managed to offer more AP classes than Hale did. They may have changed or discontinued offering AP classes over the course of the year, that is entirely possible. If they did, geez, I'm sorry. But I will call them on Monday and find out.

And, BTW, The Seattle Times was a very reliable source of Seattle school information. They got the figure of 7 AP classes offered at Ingraham from somewhere.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Great news, now I can do less fact checking. That does work out well for me time-wise.

I was just trying to ask for all of us to do better since so many parents read this blog for information but geez, just jump on me for asking.

Maureen said...

I agree with you Melissa, I think all of us should try our hardest to indicate the degree of certainty we have for the 'facts' we provide. E.g., "When I toured Hale with my kid in 2009, they told us...." Or, in my case: I said Garfield dropped French altogether for awhile last year. That much I knew to be true. I wasn't sure if they actually reinstated it this year (I believed so).

I'm assuming uxolo knows what s/he is talking about, but I would verify it (as well as the Marine Bio thing) before I acted on it as fact. In fact I just happened to be looking at the UW in HS site the other day and they don't indicate that Garfield participates, so uxolo may have provided us information that we wouldn't have otherwise known (much like all of the SPS info the participants here have cobbled together through the sweat of their collective brow!)

seattle citizen said...

Thanks for the reminder, Melissa, to either state my "facts" as known, i.e. "There is documentation that," or "This district staff person said, in June 2010, that"; OR add a caveat, such as "my understanding, which could wrong," or "II think, but am not sure..."
I tend to say stuff which I believe to be true but might not be, which could throw off readers thinking it's the gospel. I hope that readers fact-check me when I forget to state whether something is fact (with citation, if possible) or my opinion or understanding.

With so much change (which is "good!") this is doubly important.

seattle citizen said...

Speaking of "getting it right," AND "the soul of a teacher,"

The New York Times today, this time in the Book Review, has this interesting review of Proofiness, The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception, a new book by Charles Seife (Fibbing With Numbers

Of course I assume we all know the various numbers in the education biz, local and national, that might be "fibbed with," so this is related.

"Disestimation" (see below) seems like the biggest problem for MAP, HSPE, race groupings and the like in education...

"Falsifying numbers is the crudest form of proofiness. Seife lays out a rogues’ gallery of more subtle deceptions. “Potemkin numbers” are phony statistics based on erroneous or nonexistent calculations. Justice Antonin Scalia’s assertion that only 0.027 percent of convicted felons are wrongly imprisoned was a Potemkin number derived from a prosecutor’s back-of-the-envelope estimate; more careful studies suggest the rate might be between 3 and 5 percent.

“Disestimation” involves ascribing too much meaning to a measurement, relative to the uncertainties and errors inherent in it. In the most provocative and detailed part of the book, Seife analyzes the recounting process in the astonishingly close 2008 Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. The winner, he claims, should have been decided by a coin flip; anything else is disestimation, considering that the observed errors in counting the votes were always much larger than the number of votes (roughly 200 to 300) separating the two candidates.

“Comparing apples and oranges” is another perennial favorite. The conservative Blue Dog Democrats indulged in it when they accused the Bush administration of borrowing more money from foreign governments in four years than had all the previous administrations in our nation’s history, combined. True enough, but only if one conveniently forgets to correct for inflation."

Charlie Mas said...

Sorry, I was unclear. I should have written "There have been a number of people who, for years, have wanted more AP classes at Hale, yet Hale has refused to offer them."

zb said...

" I would like to speak the naive belief that "Splitting up APP at the high school level would make many more AP classes available in different high schools.""

Yes, a naive point of view, but not, in itself, a statement that is amenable to fact checking. I can't remember if I said it (I might have), and if I did, it should have said "might" rather than "would". But would, by its nature, a prediction, can't be fact checked. In fact, a statement like this has an implicit "I believe" in it, since the kind of information likely for the "would" to be accuarate would require significant inside information.

The number of AP classes offered at Hale, however, is fact checkable, but I suspect that excepting an anonymous commentator to do it is more than anyone can expect. Thus, if someone answered that question (as rabbit did in this thread), I'd expect to fact-check it myself, if it were critical to my decision making (on my children's school, or on the levy, or on anything else).

zb said...

Seattle Citizen -- thanks for the cite to the book on falsifying with numbers. I do have to ask, though, if Seife also pointed out that the difference in the tally in Bush v Gore 2000 was well within any measurement error. I hope so.

But, I doubt if we're ever going to get the electorate to accept the measurement error argument as an excuse for flipping a coin in anything but an exact tie.

seattle citizen said...

True, zb, the electorate wouldn't accept flipping a coin, but that would be better than bogus Supreme Court decisions that undermine the judicial branch!

G said...

My 10th grade Marine Bio student at Garfield came home with a UW in the High School Credit Course registration form to receive UW credit for Oceanography 101 (Survey of Oceanography) for course work completed in the 2010/11 school year. There is a $334 fee for the course and registration. It earns 5 UW course credits.

This is the first year Marine Bio has been eligible for UW in the High School program. And in the inestimable wisdom of SPS, this may be the last year they allow Marine Bio to be taught as a core science course.

Melissa Westbrook said...

ZB, I put in TWO requests in the original thread. One was about factual items like how many AP classes a high school has. The other was about making a statement like splitting up APP would mean more AP classes at other high schools.

And I asked, WHY someone would believe that, NOT for proof. What has that person seen or heard in what the district does or does not do? It's just asking to explain an opinion.

That this is so difficult to get is beyond me. I like to think this is a place where we explain our thinking, our experiences and flesh it out rather than just spout off. Apparently I was wrong.

zb said...

"And I asked, WHY someone would believe that, NOT for proof. What has that person seen or heard in what the district does or does not do? It's just asking to explain an opinion."

Someone would believe that because 1) they believe that in general, the school district is trying to do the best for the children, and that if there was a significant demand from AP courses, they would be more likely to occur and 2) they don't believe that the districts vision of a comprehensive high schools is all that different from their own.

And, I do believe that -- that distributing the AP cohort (and I do mean AP, and not APP) throughout the city would increase the probability that a larger spectrum of rigorous classes would be available at all the high schools, rather than segregated at a few. Though I also think a first step solution is to simply offer those classes, even if they're significantly under-enrolled, you can't teach a class with zero kids. Having APP kids in all the schools might increase the chances that there would be students to fill those classes, or at least populate them.

I think predictions about how such things would play out have huge error bars, but that it's a rational belief to believe that some schools would have more AP courses if the APP population was more dispersed at the high school level.

You may disagree, but I don't think disagreeing with the statements displaces the fact that it is a logical basis for my belief.

And, in evidence, I offer up the improvement of the Ingraham & Sealth programs as proof that the district can beef up the offerings of schools that were less popular in the past.

zb said...

"My 10th grade Marine Bio student at Garfield came home with a UW in the High School Credit Course registration form to receive UW credit for Oceanography 101 (Survey of Oceanography) for course work completed in the 2010/11 school year. There is a $334 fee for the course and registration. It earns 5 UW course credits."

Have folks been paying attention to the "excess credits" problems that can arise when you've earned too many college credits at UW? The most concrete example I've heard is a story of a student who wasn't permitted to double-major because she'd earned too many credits before she entered the UW. S/he was unable to spend a "senior" year doing research/advanced work, because she had enough credits to graduate in her major.

(and, I suggest, my information here is second hand and not very well fact checked, so people should consider the issue specifically for their own situation).

Rabbit said...

And, here is another:

From the Hale website:

:Nathan Hale High School students may now earn 5 UW credits by successfully completing Astronomy at Hale. Students must enroll for UW credit by Oct. 8. Cost is $299, plus $35 to register. This cost is less than half of what a course at UW normally costs, and students will establish a transcript with UW. See the website for more details: http://www.outreach.washington.edu/uwhs/ or contact Ms. Walker: mswalker1@seattleschools.org."

Charlie Mas said...

In the end, the principal is sole determinant of how responsive a school is to the needs of the students and community.

Rabbit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

"Someone would believe that because 1) they believe that in general, the school district is trying to do the best for the children, and that if there was a significant demand from AP courses, they would be more likely to occur and 2) they don't believe that the districts vision of a comprehensive high schools is all that different from their own."

But ZB, you didn't write the original comment. How do you know for sure that's what the commenter felt/believed about why splitting up APP would mean more AP classes elsewhere? You just told us what YOU believe.

THAT's why I want people to flesh out their thinking so we all know how they formed that opinion.

hschinske said...

zb, I've heard a similar story, and mine was from the student's mother.

Helen Schinske

Rabbit said...

Melissa, as a blog administrator, with the ability to post, edit and delete threads, and comments, I hold you to a much higher standard than anonymous posters, when it comes to fact checking. If you, or Charlie posts something, I know you have done your research. If an anonymous poster posts something, I take it with a grain of salt, and fact check myself if it is something important to me.

That said, I do try to post as accurately as I can, and post what I know to be true. But as a parent I simply don't have the time to fact check everything that I post. I would hope that you still value my contributions to the blog.

AS promised, I called Ingraham this morning and spoke with a counselor there. According to the councelor as of this year Ingraham is not offering any more AP classes. She said that they always have offered AP, in addition to IB, but for the past few years they have been slowly fazing them out, as they replace them with new IB classes. The last few AP classes were fazed out as of this year.

Info changes from year to year, and sometimes minute to minute in this district. Sorry for the misinformation.

Dorothy Neville said...

I have heard the same issue with starting college (especially UW) with too many credits. Perhaps ZB, Helen and I all know the same family?

In addition to the daughter of a friend of mine who got pushed out of UW for being too close to graduating, I know about the issue from the Robinson Center staff. My son is an Academy student.

UW requires one to select a major after a certain number of credits. Some of the early entrance kids come in with so many credits they meet this threshold soon, too soon to declare a major, so the Robinson Center has some clout to get that delayed. But that would not help someone of regular age who starts UW with a lot of credits. So even if the student only wants a single major, they might not get as much time to explore as they might like. (OR they might love getting a college degree extra fast.)

For students wanting a double major or more time, it is definitely in the counseling radar to help students dance around this by making sure one doesn't get too close to finishing in one major before getting underway in the second. The issue for my friend's daughter though, was that an advisor gave information (oh sure, you can stay and start another major) but it turned out not to be true.

Josh Hayes said...

Rabbit, thanks for the info re AP and IB at IHS (I just LOVE those acronyms!).

My main concern with phasing out AP in favor of IB courses is that I believe only IB-enrolled kids can take those courses - is that correct? This would mean that an average student who happens to rock it with the math would not be able to take "IB" math classes, right?

I hope I'm wrong about that: I think kids who excel at some things ought to be able to excel at those things, even if they're only adequate at other things. I have a call in to the IB coordinator at Ingraham, but have not yet heard back.

southmom said...

Okay, can someone explain to me why it's good to have AP classes clustered at a few schools that the vast majority of students have absolutely NO CHANCE of attending, thanks to the new boundaries? Because those students are more deserving? Enlighten me, please.

Rabbit said...

Josh you should call Guy Thomas. He's the Ingraham High School IB Coordinator. His # is 206-252-3923. Last I heard, and it could have changed, because it was over a year ago, there were two IB options.

Option one was for a student to take the full IB course load, write an IB essay, and take the IB tests. Those students get some college credit for the IB courses, and graduate with an IB diploma.

Option two was that any student could take an IB class (as long as they met the prerequisite for the course). They do not have to take the full IB course load, or the IB tests. Those students that don't take the IB tests do not get college credit for the course, and those that don't take the full course load don't graduate with the IB diploma, though they do get the IB designation/credit on their high school transcripts.

Again, double check, things could have changed.

Charlie Mas said...

southmom asked: "Okay, can someone explain to me why it's good to have AP classes clustered at a few schools that the vast majority of students have absolutely NO CHANCE of attending, thanks to the new boundaries? Because those students are more deserving? Enlighten me, please."

The District has, only of late, required schools to offer a minimum set of AP classes (or IB equivalents). Beyond that, it is entirely up to the school to decide what advanced classes they will offer.

The current variety is the result of decentralized decision-making, choice, and a resulting chicken-and-egg problem.

Cleveland didn't have students who wanted AP classes, so Cleveland didn't offer them.

Because Cleveland didn't offer AP classes, students who wanted AP classes didn't choose Cleveland.

Because students who wanted AP classes didn't choose Cleveland, Cleveland didn't have many students who wanted AP classes.

Because Cleveland didn't have many students who wanted AP classes, the school didn't offer them.

And the cycle repeated from there.

The District has tried to break that cycle in two ways.

First, they required high schools to offer a minimum set of AP classes, whether they had students to fill them or not.

Second, they have taken some small steps to reduce school choice at the high school level.

Let's remember that when the District did their capacity analysis they found that about half of the over-capacity was at the high school level - yet they didn't close any high school buildings. That's why Rainier Beach is still just as under-enrolled as ever.

Maureen said...

First, they required high schools to offer a minimum set of AP classes, whether they had students to fill them or not.


Do we know if this is actually happening? For example, is Rainier Beach offering AP Calc and if so, to how many kids? What exactly is the "minimum set of AP classes"? I don't think I've ever seen a list.

Charlie Mas said...

Maureen touches on a sore spot.

Although the District leadership talk about these academic assurances, I cannot find a list of them anywhere - and I have asked.

hschinske said...

The West Seattle Herald reported thus on Sept. 8:

o Every high school will offer a minimum of four core Advanced Placement (AP) or IB courses in English, math, science and history.

Helen Schinske

emeraldkity said...

I used to be a college transfer advisor in the Seattle community colleges- ( and I have two kids attending college)
AP credits often are used for placement- to get into a higher level class in same division, as elective credits but rarely to place out of the area of study altogether.

You can tentatively make your stay @ a 4 year school shorter and cheaper by maximizing AP test scores for class credit- However- if the reason for taking AP classes in high school was NOT to make college faster/cheaper, but to make the level of work in high school more appropriate, why would you want to zip through university?

There is a reason why many colleges only allow limited AP credits and discourage using those credits to place out of divisions.

College is not high school, no matter how rigorous the AP class ( I addressed how I felt about that on another thread).

To my understanding the reason why Garfield did not offer AP biology was because they didn't feel it was as rigourous as their next level bio class & I also would quibble with those who wanted to replace AP Euro with Geo.

The way that IB tests are set up is also much different than AP. A friend was a proctor for IB testing at Ingraham, and she was quite startled by the flexibility of the whole procedure as compared to say- SAT testing.