Preparing Students for AP Courses – A New Program

I recently read an article in the Democrat and Chronicle  about a  summer program designed to prepare incoming 9th graders for the challenges of AP courses in Rochester, NY.  12 incoming freshmen participated in the Global Gear Up program that allowed the students to participate in world history research projects.  I am strongly convinced that schools will need to focus on increasing the standards and rigor in classes leading up to AP courses.  Programs like this are a great start at accomplishing this.

AP programs are growing at schools all across the country.  ap_exam_chartThere are two primary ways schools accomplish this.  One is to increase the numbers of courses offered while the other is to open up existing classes to more students.  The problem with the latter is that  students are often not prepared for the rigor of AP courses.  If this is the case, teachers have a hard time moving at the the necessary pace and covering the depth required by Advanced Placement courses.  As schools increase the participation in AP courses, it is imperative that they focus on increasing the rigor on classes leading up to the AP courses.  This will allow all students to be more successful in class.  This approach also has the added benefit that students who do not choose Advanced Placement courses are held to a higher standard and thus learn more.

Any thoughts on the issue of preparation for AP courses?  Share your thoughts by submitting a comment.

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