More Mathews (Now He’s Single-handedly Destroying Honors Programs!), And More AP!

Per this, Jay Mathews and Patrick Welsh square off in The Washington Post about AP courses.

Says Welsh:

Fairfax County teachers I’ve talked to say you have single-handedly destroyed their traditional college prep honors programs and are responsible for watering down their AP courses. “Kids now are being pushed out of honors into AP courses because of Mathews’s index,” one told me. “All principals care about are head counts — how many kids take, not pass, AP tests. Teachers are furious that administrators have caved in” to the challenge index.

Says Mathews:

Show me some data that support your point. As for watering down AP in Fairfax, here are some real numbers: The percentage of students getting scores of 3 or above on the AP tests decreased from 75 to 61 percent when the program was opened to all in 1998. Fairfax teachers went to work, and despite giving more AP tests than ever this year, that passing rate is up to 70 percent — above the national average — and getting higher. The AP teachers I speak to say average students are better off in their classes, struggling to reach a college standard rather than sitting in a regular class being given good grades for much less challenging work.

Plenty more, worth reading.

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