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Old 12-03-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Interestingly, the fact in my son's high school was that the younger kids always understood more of the classes than older students.

For example, geometry honors could be take for high school credit in 6th, 7th or 8th grade (placement by tests and by teacher recommendations). It was always the 6th graders who set the curve on the final exam. Often the gifted students are simply way ahead of their peers.

In my son's school, lots of kids took APs and the year they took them varied from Freshman to Senior year. Most took them in junior or senior year, but there were certainly kids who were ready earlier. Like the person who posted about University of Minnesota, our kids took real college classes at Northwestern. Most of the APs were taught on the high school campus by teachers who were excellent and no courses were dumbed down. Kids who did the APs before they were ready to graduate took college courses for dual credit at the local community college or at Northwestern.
Seriously, I'm starting to think that AP is nothing more than the college prep track of yesteryear with a new paint job. I did several of what are now AP chemistry labs in my regular chemistry class in high school. However, this means that college has been dummied down if they are allowing college credit for these classes, but it's no secret we dummied down college long ago. I find it odd that so many kids seem to be ready for college classes in the 9th grade and people don't realize that this means we've just dummied down the curriculum to the point that 9th graders can handle college now. This is not an improvement.

 
Old 12-04-2011, 06:31 AM
 
12,454 posts, read 27,063,999 times
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I think that there are different levels of AP classes, as pointed out on cc0789's post on the previous page. In our HS, there are pre-rec's and summer homework for all AP classes and most honors classes. There are no AP's allowed for freshman at all at our school and it does not offer the Human Geography AP class. I do think if the math and Science AP's are being offered to Freshman and Sophomores then they probably are not the rigor that College Board is intending. I think schools themselves are making a big mistake when they offer every AP out there. At our HS, the peer pressure to take AP's is fairly intense but because we are a small school, and there are many required classes for graduation (like gym, health, drivers ed, tech ed, etc) one simply cannot take all AP's. Thank goodness.

Colleges measure against the peers in one's school. If the schedule allows a student to take 15 AP's, and that's what the top students can fit in, then that is what is expected of the top students. However, in a school like my son's HS, the most anyone could possibly take would be 8 - 10, then that's what is expected of the top students. On the other hand, if a student is weak in an AP subject, there is no reason to pile that on and showcase the weakness. I personally don't think it's wise to play the AP game and don't recommend the "Race to Nowhere". Race to Nowhere | Changing Lives One Film at a Time
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:48 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,354,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Seriously, I'm starting to think that AP is nothing more than the college prep track of yesteryear with a new paint job. I did several of what are now AP chemistry labs in my regular chemistry class in high school. However, this means that college has been dummied down if they are allowing college credit for these classes, but it's no secret we dummied down college long ago. I find it odd that so many kids seem to be ready for college classes in the 9th grade and people don't realize that this means we've just dummied down the curriculum to the point that 9th graders can handle college now. This is not an improvement.
I asked earlier and you didn't answer--how hard was your freshman level math class in college--or even your freshman level chemistry class? For me, they were pretty much a review of what I had in high school. For other's, they didn't have access to the level of chemistry instruction we had, small schools mostly, and a lot of what they learned was new. It isn't any different today-except the high school kids are farther along then we were at the same age....
 
Old 12-04-2011, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,697,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I asked earlier and you didn't answer--how hard was your freshman level math class in college--or even your freshman level chemistry class? For me, they were pretty much a review of what I had in high school. For other's, they didn't have access to the level of chemistry instruction we had, small schools mostly, and a lot of what they learned was new. It isn't any different today-except the high school kids are farther along then we were at the same age....
My, true, freshman math classes were calculus I and II and they were much more in depth than my senior math class in high school (Algebra III/Trig and pre calc). My freshman chemistry class was a full college level course. It went well beyond what I had in high school. I'm referring to "true" freshman courses because I retook high school math and science in college before taking the real college courses due to several years passing between graduating from high school and attending college. My high school chemistry course, which appears to be closer to what is taught as AP chemistry today, was above that introductory/review chemistry course I took in college but below the actual chemistry class I took. The review courses did not count towards my major because they were considered high school level pre college courses that I chose to take as refresher courses.

Were you, by chance, a liberal arts major or a business major? Liberal arts/business level calculus and liberal arts chemistry are much lower than what engineers take. I have no doubt that today's liberal arts degree isn't much better than a 1950's high school diploma. I tutored liberal arts and nursing majors in their chemistry class in college and theirs was not as rigorous as my high school chemistry course. Mine was more rigorous. I think an engineering degree is still rigorous.
 
Old 12-04-2011, 07:54 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,354,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
My, true, freshman math classes were calculus I and II and they were much more in depth than my senior math class in high school (Algebra III/Trig and pre calc). My freshman chemistry class was a full college level course. It went well beyond what I had in high school. I'm referring to "true" freshman courses because I retook high school math and science in college before taking the real college courses due to several years passing between graduating from high school and attending college. My high school chemistry course, which appears to be closer to what is taught as AP chemistry today, was above that introductory/review chemistry course I took in college but below the actual chemistry class I took. The review courses did not count towards my major because they were considered high school level pre college courses that I chose to take as refresher courses.

Were you, by chance, a liberal arts major or a business major? Liberal arts/business level calculus and liberal arts chemistry are much lower than what engineers take. I have no doubt that today's liberal arts degree isn't much better than a 1950's high school diploma. I tutored liberal arts and nursing majors in their chemistry class in college and theirs was not as rigorous as my high school chemistry course. Mine was more rigorous. I think an engineering degree is still rigorous.
My freshman year in college I was a chemistry major so I took the intro courses for that. It was the same course the engineering students took. In high school we had up through Calculus so the math class in college was the same (but I tested out of that so I didn't have to take it).

I think the real issue you are having is that your particular educational experiences in high school and college are not at the same level as we are talking about here. It doesn't sound like you had the opportunities in high school that the kids in our area have. It also sounds like your DD's school is in the same boat if they only let 3 kids take the dual enrollment. Again, I would STRONGLY suggest talking to some admissions counselors about your plans, outside of the MI state school system and ask THEM since you don't believe us.

The AP Chem class our kids are taking is harder and more is expected of them, then the classes I had in college (I only took 2 semesters of college Chem). I also have to say that the quality of the teacher makes a huge difference. Our twins have two different AP Chem teachers and our daughter's teacher has MUCH higher expectations then our son's teacher, but they are both very difficult classes. For Dd's first lab this year, I was reading over her lab journal and was thinking "wow, she gets this already". Her notes were very detailed, very comprehensive, she got a 5 out of 10 on that entry. Her teacher has a PhD in chemistry.

Dd has a couple friends that are in the IT program at the University of MN. They have said that their chemistry and calc classes are on par with the AP classes they took in high school (for freshman classes--they are sophomores now). They were VERY happy they had the classes they did.
 
Old 12-04-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I think the real issue you are having is that your particular educational experiences in high school and college are not at the same level as we are talking about here.
BINGO! High level academics (ie-AP classes) are not new. They existed in the 1980s when I was in HS. Just because one person did not have those opportunities it doesn't mean they are newly created.

My HS AP Calculus BC class covered the same material as my college level Calculus classes. The BC class covered 2 semesters. My HS AP Physics covered my first 2 semesters of Physics. I never took AP Chemistry in HS but my first college chemistry class did not contain new material. I graduated HS in 1983.


Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
]The AP Chem class our kids are taking is harder and more is expected of them, then the classes I had in college (I only took 2 semesters of college Chem).
I have a BS in Ceramic Engineering so I had LOTS of Chemistry in college. The AP Chemistry class that my kids take (DS got a 5 on the exam last spring) covers more than I took in my first 2 semesters in college. It covers Heisenber's Uncertainty Principle which we did not cover in my first 2 semesters in college. We had a class in Physical Chemistry and that was the first time we came across that subject. We took that class our sophomore year and only science and engineering students took that class. Basic Chemistry did not cover as much as today's AP Chemistry.

I think that there are certain standards that are higher today than they were 20-30 years ago. NOT lower.
 
Old 12-04-2011, 09:54 AM
 
1,226 posts, read 1,979,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I think the real issue you are having is that your particular educational experiences in high school and college are not at the same level as we are talking about here. It doesn't sound like you had the opportunities in high school that the kids in our area have. It also sounds like your DD's school is in the same boat if they only let 3 kids take the dual enrollment. Again, I would STRONGLY suggest talking to some admissions counselors about your plans, outside of the MI state school system and ask THEM since you don't believe us.
.
I agree with golfgal. Schools are very different, and you can't make a blanket statement that all high schools have been dumbed down, based only on your experience. College might seem very difficult for someone that isn't prepared enough in highschool. But those same classes might have seemed very easy for those with a rigourous highschool program. I graduated from a very competitive high school, where a 3.8 had me graduating at about 60% of the class. I had no idea about AP classes, I had no parental support and was not the most motivated. College was VERY easy for me, and I saw many that struggled.

FYI, I believe she said her DD's school only has a 75% graduation rate, for what its worth.
 
Old 12-04-2011, 11:09 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,354,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc0789 View Post
I agree with golfgal. Schools are very different, and you can't make a blanket statement that all high schools have been dumbed down, based only on your experience. College might seem very difficult for someone that isn't prepared enough in highschool. But those same classes might have seemed very easy for those with a rigourous highschool program. I graduated from a very competitive high school, where a 3.8 had me graduating at about 60% of the class. I had no idea about AP classes, I had no parental support and was not the most motivated. College was VERY easy for me, and I saw many that struggled.

FYI, I believe she said her DD's school only has a 75% graduation rate, for what its worth.
That makes sense then. I did not see that before. Most schools here have about 99% graduation rate with the exception of the inner city schools which have about 45% graduation rates. We have 96% of our high school graduates going on to 4 year colleges, about 2% going into the military and community colleges and about 2% going into the workforce.
 
Old 12-04-2011, 11:48 AM
 
15,743 posts, read 13,167,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
BINGO! High level academics (ie-AP classes) are not new. They existed in the 1980s when I was in HS. Just because one person did not have those opportunities it doesn't mean they are newly created.

My HS AP Calculus BC class covered the same material as my college level Calculus classes. The BC class covered 2 semesters. My HS AP Physics covered my first 2 semesters of Physics. I never took AP Chemistry in HS but my first college chemistry class did not contain new material. I graduated HS in 1983.




I have a BS in Ceramic Engineering so I had LOTS of Chemistry in college. The AP Chemistry class that my kids take (DS got a 5 on the exam last spring) covers more than I took in my first 2 semesters in college. It covers Heisenber's Uncertainty Principle which we did not cover in my first 2 semesters in college. We had a class in Physical Chemistry and that was the first time we came across that subject. We took that class our sophomore year and only science and engineering students took that class. Basic Chemistry did not cover as much as today's AP Chemistry.

I think that there are certain standards that are higher today than they were 20-30 years ago. NOT lower.
I cover Heisenberg's in the first two months of an introductory, high school sophormore level non-AP chemistry course. We also do the double slit, Schroedinger's, and most of the step to get to the QMM. And again, this is just an honor's level first year chemistry course.

It is sort of the standard now and can be found in most textbooks. So those higher standards are not due to AP at all.
 
Old 12-04-2011, 11:57 AM
 
15,743 posts, read 13,167,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
If your dd wants to go to an elite school she is better off taking AP classes. We have been told by admissions officers that AP classes are preferred to CC classes because with an AP exam they know what was taught, and what the kids mastered.

AP classes are considered more rigorous than CC classes and most elite colleges consider the rigor of an applicant's academic record very strongly for admissions.
Depends on the CC.

My school offers mainly dual enrollments (since there are no AP in our theme) and our kids go to the elite schools at a much higher percentage than normal.
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