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High School Students and AP Courses

Old 06-01-2012, 04:24 AM
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Default High School Students and AP Courses

I have two kids enrolled in high school. They are both bright, and rank highly on standardized tests including the PSAT/SAT/ACT. The local schools have begun to strongly emphasize AP courses, with kids being pushed into 3 or 4 AP courses at one time. Is this typical nationally, or is it a result of the Florida school grading program? Challenging a student is a good thing - but I want to make sure that my kids are not being thrown under a bus so that the school gets bragging rights for AP participation rates.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:26 AM
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They are being pushed into AP courses because their teachers realize they might excel by being seperated from the rest of the kids who are in extended day care...
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:28 AM
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If your kids are going to college, AP classes are a great thing. When my daughter went to college she already had a semester of college done because of AP classes.... As long as your children can handle the added work, it should be a good thing... Congrads on having kids that are taking advantage of their education...
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Wicked Awesome View Post
I have two kids enrolled in high school. They are both bright, and rank highly on standardized tests including the PSAT/SAT/ACT. The local schools have begun to strongly emphasize AP courses, with kids being pushed into 3 or 4 AP courses at one time. Is this typical nationally, or is it a result of the Florida school grading program? Challenging a student is a good thing - but I want to make sure that my kids are not being thrown under a bus so that the school gets bragging rights for AP participation rates.
They are being "pushed" into in because the school knows they are very bright students. My son is the same way. He's wrapping up his junior year with 3 AP classes under his belt. He'll have 4 AP classes in his senior year. He would have taken more but that was all they offered. When he does get to college he'll be ahead of the game with one semester of classes already completed. I don't know about Florida but around here from lack of funding AP classes are being cut. Your lucky!, your kids will have the bragging rights!


I'm sure you aware of it but make sure your kids get signed up for the National Honor Society

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Old 06-01-2012, 05:12 AM
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The classes that AP high school courses get you out of in college are remedial as well. Composition 1? College Algebra? It's a joke to me that they have these courses in college, but that's what the "regular" classes in high school precede.

Taking AP courses so they don't have to sit in those classes in college will be the best thing they can do. For bright kids, AP classes in high school aren't a challenge, you just get back up to "normal" instead of the "lowest common denominator" idea of regular classes.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Wicked Awesome View Post
Challenging a student is a good thing - but I want to make sure that my kids are not being thrown under a bus so that the school gets bragging rights for AP participation rates.
Worry less about what the school gets out of this; think of what your daughter is getting out of it and if she can handle it.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:23 AM
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ap classes in s.e. pennsylvania at a good public school are very challenging;

my son has chem 1
physics 1
bio 1
calc 1 and 2
psycho 1
american history
all completed with 4 or 5 on every test, that is 27 credits from penn state he does not have to take. He has already decided on a minor in economics with chem eng major at PSU. The Ap classes opened up the minor degree with minimal extra effort in college which hopefully turn into a better job offer.

I recommend AP classes to any one that plans on going to college to expand their options.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by WalkingTheDocks View Post
The classes that AP high school courses get you out of in college are remedial as well. Composition 1? College Algebra? It's a joke to me that they have these courses in college, but that's what the "regular" classes in high school precede.

Taking AP courses so they don't have to sit in those classes in college will be the best thing they can do. For bright kids, AP classes in high school aren't a challenge, you just get back up to "normal" instead of the "lowest common denominator" idea of regular classes.


Maybe like that around you but not here. The chemistry and math classes my son has taken is offered to Freshman & Sophomores at the college level. They are very far from remedial. His teacher for AP chem is a professor at U of P
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:53 AM
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Same here...my high school granddaughter's teachers are professors at U of O, and she already has her first year of college credits completed......
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:16 AM
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My kids did AP courses...no biggie really...it does save alot of money though....it's college credits for free....go for it...
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:38 AM
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My daughter just finished her first year at UF. She entered with 16 credit hours from AP classes. Not only does it challenge the kids, but it gets them ready for college which will be even more challenging. In addition, most of the kids in the AP classes are going to be on the same college track as your kids, with more involved parents and less "issues". Within her group of friends at UF, she is in the middle as to AP hours. Many came in with 20+.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:55 AM
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Without AP, most of the first two years of college is a required redo of high school.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:59 AM
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If the public schools in FL are like they are in NC you should have them in every AP class they can take. I went to a good private school. My friends that went to what was regarded as the best public school in town learned the same in AP classes as we did in regular classes. In their regular classes they were way behind us because the teachers had to teach down to the level of the weaker students. Everyone that got used to AP classes and the studying were much better prepaired for college.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:14 AM
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Hard to overstate the importance of AP courses, provided the student is ready for them. The AP courses can significantly improve a student's GPA, which in turn improves their class ranking -- both key metrics in college admission. Just be sure not to bite off more than you can chew. College admissions officers love to see AP''s on a transcript, but they don't like it so much if the student is getting C's or lower in those classes. I had one son who could carry 3 AP courses and ace them all, another who I was not ready to take any AP's. All about individual aptitude.

For me, the secondary benefit of AP courses has been to allow my son to achieve a higher GPA in college. He got a top score on the Chem AP exam (either a 1 or a 5, can't remember), but I encouraged him to take it again in college. He took Chem his junior year in HS, as an engineer he'll be taking a lot more of it, so I wanted him to take Chem 101 as a refresher and an easy A. He'll use the rest of his AP credits to lighten his course load during difficult semesters, to help him keep the GPA up. If I were on a tight college budget, I'd probably want him to use his AP credits to finish school quicker, but we're fortunate that he's getting some scholarship help.

Net: As long as your kid can get B's or better, load them up with AP classes.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:05 AM
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I think you can see from all the posts is to do it...If your kid can handle it. It takes a dedicated student with good study habits, they are not easy. My son took 4 in his junior year and was up very late studying, but it is well worth it. He's doing AP Calculus, but i would think if he goes the engineering route that they will still make him take it again in college. But at least he'll have good knowledge going in to it. If you really want to take advantage of the college credits, look at the college requirements for social sciences and humanities and try to take those to get them out of the way so you don't have to pay for them. My kid is looking at Georgia Tech, and at $1600 a credit hour it would be great to get some of the BS classes paid for in advance. When he graduates HS next year he'll have about 30 college credits because of the AP exams.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:16 AM
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My high school didn't offer many AP classes. I remember when I went to Virginia Tech my freshman year I felt so far behind the rest of my friends. They all had enough AP credits to be at least a semester ahead and weren't stuck taking english 101, history 101, etc.

Because of AP classes my friends only had to take 14-15 credits a semester and could really focus on their in major classes. I was stuck taking 18-19 credits a semester my freshman and sophmore year just to catch up. It was not fun and I feel like had I taken AP classes in HS I wouldn't have been spread so thin my first two years, and would havehad a little better grades.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:29 AM
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I sit onour local school committee and we too try and offer as many AP courses as possible and encourage students (and their parents) to enroll in as many as they feel they can handle. As said already AP helps kids get accustomed to college level work, save a ton of money and for the right students can kindle a real love of learning.
The benefits to the school system are not as tangible but they are there in the form of hopefully higher qualified and more engaged teachers (AP teachers ahve to stay ahead of the kids which can be a challenge!) a higher level of academic achievement and college placement for the school system which then attracts more people to the system vs privates or other communties who offer more.
So I think overall, AP courses are a win win for the students and the schoool system
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:31 AM
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Was a BIG mistake on my end not taking them, really wish I would have. Basically wasted my senior year goofing off w/ electives for classes because all my honors classes were already completed. Knowing what I know now, I would've taken as many as absolutely possible.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:04 AM
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AP courses are good for good students and it gets them out of a lot of the mainstream poorly taught courses with disinterested students. They also pay off in college. However, they also are part of the school ranking system and the schools are pushing kids into the AP courses to serve their own interests as well.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:20 AM
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It may serve them as well but that is like saying my parent's pushed me hard to succeed so they could brag, ah yeah.

Both my daughters took AP courses both were National Honor Society, which BTW you don't sign up for, you need to apply and be accepted and this carries a lot more qualifications than just a couple AP classes under your belt. Community service is a huge part of this.

My oldest just finished her second year as a communications major, Dean's list both semesters both years. My youngest was just inducted into the NHS, 11th grade, and has her heart set on a PharmD degree, we've already visited URI and Uconn, she wants Uconn so I've started looking for a second job.

So I'd say let her rip, you'll see the signs if it becomes too much.
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