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The AP Mess Continues
The Valley News ran an editorial last Wednesday about the ongoing AP credit fiasco. Its salient section:
Dartmouth College has attracted national media attention for modifying its stance toward Advanced Placement, the rigorous college-preparatory courses offered in more than half of all U.S. high schools. The faculty decided that, beginning in the fall of 2014, the college will no longer grant credit for high scores on the AP exams, as some departments do now.
Why the interest in a new rule seemingly relevant only to prospective students? Because Dartmouth is the first Ivy League school to devise a policy that appears to discount the value of this popular curricular program administered by the powerful College Board.
Many academic departments at comparable institutions such as Yale and Harvard also refuse to grant credit for AP coursework. However, Dartmouth’s faculty is alone [in the Ivy League] in voting to deny AP credit across the board, no matter what the subject or the score, according to AP’s executive director. AP coursework and exam results will continue to be used for evaluating applicants and for course placement.[Emphasis added]
It is worthwhile noting once again that at the faculty meeting on November 12, Classics Professor Håkan Tell, the chair of the Committee on Instruction, made the following remarks in his presentation of the proposal:
“We are not out of step with other institutions with a deep commitment to undergraduate education in doing this. For example, Brown, Amherst, Williams, Harvard, Princeton and UPenn do not allow AP credits. Cornell and Yale do, but in reality, I’ve been told, it’s very difficult to get credit for those students.”
Nine minutes later in the meeting, a member of the faculty asked this question:
“I just had a question about benchmarking. Are we following our peers with this new policy? In other words, is this something that most of the Ivy Plus and [garbled] and others have done or are doing?”
Tell reiterated the points, in a slightly exasperated manner, that he had made earlier:
“As I mentioned before, we have data, new data, of what the Ivies are doing, and some of the other colleges with a real commitment to undergraduate education. I’ve referred to them. So Brown, for example, University, and Williams and Amherst, Harvard, UPenn and Princeton, do not allow AP credits. Cornell and Yale do, but it’s very difficult to get credit from them. In terms of following our peers, this is something that we have been talking about for the better part of a decade now. We’ve been trying to bring this to the floor of the faculty for a little bit more than ten years.”
One would think that the chair of the Committee on Instruction might have called up the director of the College Board’s Advanced Placement division to find out what was what, before making categorical statements. The public might be confused right now about Dartmouth’s decision, but inside the academy there are more than a few snickers about the blundering leadership at the College.
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…