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Letters: Who should get into AP classes?

October 12, 2013

Re "As access to AP classes rises, so do headaches," Oct. 10

It is terrible for a qualified student to be shut out of a high school Advanced Placement course because of some misguided egalitarian ideal that every student should be allowed to take an AP class, prepared or not.

My son, currently a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University, took a full slate of AP classes in his public high school. To even be considered for a top college, a student needs to take the most rigorous courses possible in high school, which means AP.

When I'm asked what I think about public versus private schools, I reply that top public school students enter a small world called "honors and AP," where they are grouped with other high-achieving, motivated kids and get just as good an education as the private schools (if not better).

If qualified kids can't get in due to a lottery, this damages the brightest kids.

Karen Schmauss

Alta Loma

I've had three kids who qualified for AP classes. However, one child rebelled and switched over to general education classes — where she learned more — and I saved both money and hours of household tension by kicking my AP fever.

While well meaning, the principal of Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra — who seeks to make AP the standard for all students by switching to a lottery system to determine enrollment — risks forcing students who don't get into the courses to pay for tutoring to pass the all-important AP tests.

But if a school cannot afford to pay for the teacher training to expand its AP offerings, it certainly won't be able to make available high-quality tutoring for the tests. In the end, the only benefits will go to the private businesses that own the AP tests.

Cathryn Roos

La Habra

Let's grant admission to UC Berkeley by lottery too. This would accomplish the dual mandate of ruining the institution and the lives of the kids who aren't prepared for AP (or college).

Dan Stern

Manhattan Beach


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