Changes to AP Courses

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Changes to AP Courses

Steven Bishop (11th), Reporter

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With the school year starting and many students taking one if not more AP classes, it is imperative to know how changes in the past are affecting the present and perhaps the future.

Multiple departments have changed not just the curriculum of each course but the way they present the material. Teachers do not have the ability to change material in their classes, that is decided by the AP college board.

Mr. Reimers, and AP Biology teacher at Pitman High School, explains how the college board who governs AP courses mandates material, “Two changes. One the college board took out probably ten chapters give or take two or three. The college board wants to focus AP Bio on inquiry lab activity.”

Teachers do not have the power to change material only the ability to change how it is presented. The main sign for teachers to change their presentation of information is the scores their previous year students receive on the AP exam for the respective course. If the scores do not stand well with what the teacher wants they change how the course is taught.

Some teachers however use student feedback on whether or not they change their presentations. “I still present the information the same I used to when I taught AP Bio five years ago, my philosophy being checking with students who go off into college” says Mr. Reimers.

Student feedback is a fantastic alternative to pouring over information in sub-groups that a class may or may not have done well on. This way also weeds out the people who were unprepared to take the AP test from those who planned for it. Skewed information may make a teacher falsely change their style of teachings without needing to.

There are different reasons for taking an AP class. Parent pressure, boosted GPA, and it being aesthetically pleasing on a college application. All of these reasons are commonplace for students deciding whether they should take the AP courses or not. This can also place students who do not actually want to take the classes but feel pressured or are forced to do so.

Difficulties arise when teachers try to figure out who wanted to take the AP test and who was forced to take the AP test. Using past student recommendations makes this a far less complicated issue and greatly benefits the course in the future.

Students are the individuals who make the AP system turn. Without feedback from these individuals and their scores the educational machine would not operate properly. Things have to be constantly changed and parts altered, but this is only for the better of the system.

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