I'm hoping some of you readers might be able to answer a question for me. Has anyone heard of having an AP class made up of 9th graders? I'm not talking about a few gifted 9th graders taking a class with juniors or seniors. I mean a class of 9th graders taking an AP class.
We didn't have AP classes when I was in high school, so this is pretty new to me. Yes, I know this makes me terribly old, but it is true. Back in those days you got into college based on grades and SAT scores, and high schools were judged on the basis of...I don't know how we judged high schools. I only know "good" colleges recruited at Western and a reasonable number of kids were accepted and graduated from these schools. We had some advanced and high level courses, but the subject matter and curriculum was not based on a test that we would take. My impression (as a student) was that they were based on what teachers felt passionate about. I took "Russian Literature and Existentialism", "The History of Political Thought" and "Analytical Chemistry" in my senior year, if memory serves me. Somehow I survived.
I'm only asking because my understanding of AP classes is that you are doing college level work. I know my kid is smart and all, but I've got my doubts that she, and a whole class of her peers, are really going to do college level work at this point. 9th graders just don't have the practice to quickly spit out thoughtful essays. I'm worried enough about the middle school to high school transition. I know it's got her a bit nervous as well. She said to me, "I'm having second thoughts about this AP class." I responded that as no one had asked her if she wanted to take an AP history class in the first place, (and history is not her favorite or strongest subject) she can have as many thoughts as she wants, but they seem irrelevant.
It's hard not to be suspicious that this class is being driven by the fact that Newsweek says you can judge a high school by the number of AP classes it offers.