Admissions 101: How qualified are AP teachers?
In Admissions 101, a conversation has been bubbling over the last week about the qualifications of most AP teachers.
Patrickmattimore1 thinks teachers are well prepared:
The College Board works hard to ensure that high-school teachers are qualified to teach AP subjects. In addition to requiring a course syllabus, there are hundreds of workshops each year where both novice and advanced teachers are trained. AP classes use college textbooks, and the teachers are equipped with instructor's manuals identical to those provided to college professors.
OscarWilde has a different take:
Really? Well, let's see. The syllabus checking is a joke (and who is ensuring that teachers actually teach what's on it, anyway, after it's checked?) and school districts are not required to send their teachers to the training sessions, and many don't, to save money.
Perhaps there are more qualified AP teachers in psychology, but in math and science school districts struggle to find qualified teachers, period, forget about qualified AP teachers. Often the most senior teacher (who is not necessarily the most qualified) gets to teach AP. This was the case with my son's AP bio teacher. A very nice lady who read straight from a packet and was not able to answer students' questions. If my son had not taken a true introductory college bio course over the summer and had not studied on his own, he would not have gotten a 5 on the AP bio test. This is a top school district, by the way, and the same teacher still teaches AP bio. The same school has incompetent AP Calc teachers, too. Basically, if you have a BS degree in something remotely related to math, you are considered qualified to teach AP Calculus.
And before I get accused of attacking teachers, let me add that there are also many competent and dedicated AP teachers out there, and I had a pleasure to meet quite a few through my work organizing high school math competitions. But to claim that CB somehow "works hard" to ensure all AP teachers are qualified is, frankly, naive.
Join the discussion in Admissions 101 or in the comments below.
Washington Post Editors
| May 12, 2009; 11:39 AM ET
Categories: Admissions 101 | Tags: AP, teacher qualifications
Save & Share: Previous: A $100 Billion Question: How Best to Fix the Nation's Schools?
Next: Jay on the Web: A Libertarian View on Fixing the Nation's Schools
Posted by: samclare | May 13, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: teach1 | May 15, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: robinsnest | May 17, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.