Thought on AP and transparency

I’m an AP teacher and have been my entire career, and I think the program can add tremendous value. But the entrenched resistance to transparency makes the College Board look extremely sketchy. They like to make sweeping statements about data-driven policy making — but then tell you that the actual data is proprietary and private. In a lot of ways they still embody the “Trust us, we know best” paternalism of the elite colleges that formed the original core group of AP schools way back in the 1950s.

The most important role that AP serves in education might be to offer a patina of objective scientific backing that gives permission to school administrators to dedicate resources to rigorous courses. Does a class HAVE to be AP to be advanced? Certainly not. Is a school more likely to create and support an advanced course if it can stick the AP(R) tag on it? Sadly, yes.