The Fourth Estate
AP Classes Going Extinct?Monday, May 23, 2011 By DARIA ETEZADI
When students browsed through the course selections for the upcoming academic year, many noticed that three of the more popular AP classes were missing from the sign-up sheets: AP Psychology, AP Human Geography, and AP Economics. Following two-week-long Facebook petition, AP Psychology was finally brought back to the table, but the remaining two have yet to be reconsidered by the History Department. From the faculty’s standpoint, certain AP classes are offered to accommodate a "departmental interest" and to "give [students] an introduction to college academics," explains Mr. John Berry, Head of Upper School. Even through a student’s eyes, the reasons behind taking an AP are strikingly similar. "[AP Human Geography] sounded interesting to me…I chose to take it this year because I thought it would intrigue me as well as introduce me to the APs," sophomore Caitlin Connor said. If faculty members and students alike seem to be on the same page regarding this matter, what would prompt the school to offer these AP humanities some years, and not others? "Now, colleges are getting away from accepting AP credits, which is why a lot of schools aren’t offering APs as much," said Mr. Berry. So long as taking an AP course doesn’t offer an advantage once you get into college, American schools can expect to see a significant decline in the number of AP classes that are offered. "What colleges demand is that students take the most challenging courses they can, given their natural ability...What matters is if you have the ability [to take an AP course] and you don’t," clarifies college counselor Dr. Revells. Rather than offer as many AP classes as possible, Dr. Revells explains that within the Social Studies Department, "The option of AP classes would still be there, but it wouldn’t be bound to offer APs at the expense of offering electives." Laguna plans on offering a few select AP courses every two or three years and substituting enrichment classes that foster student-related interests.