Give AP Credit Where Credit Is Due

February 25, 2013 By Mark Bauerlein A few years ago, I chaired a group of high-school and college…

Georgia (Feb 25, 2013) — February 25, 2013


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A few years ago, I chaired a group of high-school and college English teachers charged by the College Board with reviewing and revising the standards for its "AP English Literature and Composition" course, one of 34 Advanced Placement offerings for secondary-school students who want to take advanced classes.

Ours was a deliberate, two-year process. For instance, we examined the results of a curriculum survey of college English departments that asked about the contents and skills taught in their first-year English-literature courses. If enough colleges regarded something as important—say, the ability to analyze metaphors in a poem—we incorporated it into the standards.

Other fields do the same. Maureen A. McCarthy, a professor of psychology at Kennesaw State University, co-chairs the AP Psychology Development Committee, which uses a curriculum survey that includes questions about preferred textbooks in introductory college classes. For the test, she told me, "Each item is carefully analyzed to ensure that the content is representative of the curriculum, and we verify that the content is present in multiple texts." …


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