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Posted at 2:59 PM ET, 07/13/2010

O'Malley proposes waiving AP fees

By Washington Post editors

Gov. Martin O'Malley wants to waive the $86 fee per subject for Advanced Placement tests in Maryland.

The proposal is part of an initiative O'Malley made public Tuesday called "AP Access and Success."

O'Malley is proposing that the state direct $3 million of education funds to cover the cost of AP exams for all students. High school students can earn college credit if they score high enough on the exam.

The plan would be phased in over a two-year period. In the 2011 and 2012 academic years, AP exam fees would be waived for biology, calculus, chemistry, computer science, environmental science and physics. After that, fees for all exams would be waived.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post editors  | July 13, 2010; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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this is a great idea. those fee's can be burdensome to many families and their children suffer. we should be doing all we can to help our children succeed.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 13, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

What a misleading story. O'Malley can't waive the AP test fee because it's not a Maryland-owned test. What O'Malley is really proposing is to use taxpayer money to pay the AP test fee. This is nothing more than O'Malley sending about $85 to each parent whose child takes an AP test.

Posted by: postisarag | July 13, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm in Cali, where you have to be illegal for the state govt. to pay for anything...
I'm opposed to this idea in any state. These test fees are to make the test companies wealthier. I worked for ETS for a number of years and it's really all about making money. (I am ashamed to say I did...however, at the time I was naive and it was a job).
I want my kid to succeed, but at taxpayer expense in any state. The state didn't tell me to have a was a decision I made, so it's my obligation to pay for her. Novel concept, I know, but very true.

Posted by: kodonivan | July 14, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley is only proposing what has long been the practice in DC. With fees paid for, students who enroll for AP courses can be required to take the exam as a condition of getting a passing grade in the AP Course.

Posted by: incredulous | July 14, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Good idea.

Posted by: celestun100 | July 14, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

This is a terrible idea for so many reasons.

1. Every school district in Maryland is cutting teaching spots and increasing class sizes to help balance the budget. I've got a better use for that $3 million, hire some more teachers or create a better teacher evaluation system.

2. Most people would consider $86 for 3 (or up to 8) college credits a bargain. Why don't we just pay for every student to go to college while we are at it.

All this really does is force all AP students, even those who don't belong and will likely score a 1 on the exam, to take an exam that will move Maryland schools a little higher on Jay Matthew's Challenge Index. School look better. real estate values increase, Maryland looks great, and O'Malley takes credit. There are hardly any students capable of passing an AP exam that are not taking the exam for financial reasons.

Posted by: NoMoreWeast | July 14, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

How about 1/2 price tests at $41.50? A problem has occured in Florida and Texas where the state pays for the tests. In these state, many students don't care to put their full effort into the exams because they are not paying the exam fee to ETS. There's more motivation to score highly when the test costs the family real money. With regard to the poor, ETS already offers discounts and free testing to those in low income brackets.

Parents are geting a bargain when their children score highly on the test and earn 3 credit hours at far less the cost of a traditional university intro class. However, schools are more likely to add AP courses when the test is subsudized. Despite Jay Mathews Challenge Index, still too few schools in Maryland and other states offer AP curriculum to their students. Maybe the full state subsidy should go to rural and disadvantaged schools, as many of the top Challenge Index schools are in the wealthier DC suburbs.

I wonder if Gov. McDowell in VA would be willing to consider the same as systems like Fairfax County are now dropping their AP fee subsidy?

Posted by: professor70 | July 15, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Please cite the research for Texas and Florida, if you can. And pass it along to Jay Mathews, WaPo ed columnist, who continues to believe that minimal performance of AP students over-stimulated / bribed/ coerced into taking the AP exam is not something his Challenge Index has encouraged. Of course, one does not want teachers to discourage AP test taking so their own stats for pass-rates can depend only on more able students. But, the danger at the other extreme is just denied.

Posted by: incredulous | July 15, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

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