Ivy League School Dumps AP Credits

Dartmouth College faculty recently voted to end offering students credit for high scores on the Advanced Placement exam, along with several other pre-college placement exams.

High school students hoping to earn college credits through Advanced Placement exams soon will be out of luck at Ivy League school Dartmouth College, according to the Huffington Post.

The Ivy League school currently awards credit in some academic subjects for qualifying scores on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate (IB) and A-level exams (a British qualification exam). But Dartmouth admissions officials say the practice of awarding credit will end, starting with the class of 2018.

"The concern that we have is that increasingly, AP has been seen as equivalent to a college-level course, and it really isn't, in our opinion," said Hakan Tell, a classics professor and chairman of the college's Committee on Instruction. The faculty recently voted to end awarding credit in exchange for high scores on AP tests after nearly a decade of discussion.

A spokeswoman for the College Board, which runs the AP program, declined to comment specifically on Dartmouth's decision because the college has not notified the company of its policy changes.

Do you think this decision to end credits for a high score on the AP test is fair? Could this be the start of a trend? What is your opinion of the AP exam? Tell us in the comments.

Laura Strong Devin January 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM
So, does this mean that the IB program at Inglemoor HS and the Cambridge program at Juanita HS will become more popular and harder to get into the programs?
Kendall Watson January 18, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Hi Laura, Dartmouth is dropping credit for ALL of the qualification exams mentioned, including IB. As you might know, a lot of students (yours truly included) saved money and time on their way to earning their bachelor's degrees by passing AP, IB or A-Level exams by getting college credit for them. Viewing this with a jaundiced eye, this decision is a relatively easy way to get the school's name into the news in the hopes of raising the profile of the school's own brand, at the expense of AP, IB and A-Levels. But the reason this is significant is because we're talking about one of the most selective schools in the country completely eliminating this program — an institution with a degree of credibility when it comes to academic excellence. There's a large number of academic institutions that view themselves as peers to Dartmouth (I have no doubt that UW and WSU are among this group, never mind Whitman, Lewis & Clark, Reed, ect.). So it will be interesting to see if they follow suit. This is the long way of saying that Dartmouth's move to dump AP casts the entire value proposition of the AP, IB and A-Level courses in a bad light, potentially devaluing it on a wide scale. If more schools follow Dartmouth's lead, the IB program at Inglemoor and the Cambridge program at Juanita will loose economic value on this basis, and possibly become less popular.
dexterjibs January 19, 2013 at 02:05 AM
Too bad Dartmouth can't be like the ever so open-minded Evergreen College and give you college credit for protesting evil companies and corporations; or evil Democratic regimes like Israel and the United States, or do some other left wing revolutionary act. Dartmouth really should follow the Evergreen College model of youth indoctrination.
James Banks January 19, 2013 at 04:06 AM
The Tea Party is obviously alive and well in Kirkland. Don't concern yourself with Dartmouth or Evergreen, you and your spawn wouldn't qualify for either of them.
Jack January 19, 2013 at 04:40 AM
I can say from experience that the AP I took was pretty much a joke. I took AP physics and calculus in high school. When I got to college (UW) my first freshman intro classes covered the entire AP curriculum in about a week. I can't speak for things like English and history, But the technical AP courses are nowhere near college-equivalent.
Laura Strong Devin January 19, 2013 at 05:14 AM
I took the only 4 AP classes that were available in my high school, did well on the exams, and started college with a semester's worth of credit, which allowed me to get 2 bachelor's degrees in 4 years. I think the AP classes I took were great preparation for college and were equivalent to what the 100 level courses entailed.
Tony Dondero January 19, 2013 at 08:20 AM
The point of AP curriculum is to make a buck and get a piece of the revenue pie and take it away from colleges. Dartmouth is protecting its bottom line. AP may create some uniformity of what is taught but any good teacher is going to riff of it and not strictly teach to the test. The point is to learn something that is applicable not get to easy credits for regurgitating stuff like a vomiting robot.
Lisa Thomas January 19, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Laura...that sounds like you graduated from high school a little while back, before some school districts decided to increase AP classes -- and lower the bars to get in. The high school's goals? To get top listing on the Newsweek Top 100 high schools in the country. Locally, Bellevue took this step and the then superintendent's vision was to have every single BSD graduate take at least 1 AP class (and many take 5-10). Why? Newsweek would rank them toward the top of best high schools in the country! Today, USNEWS (and Daily Beast-Newsweek) continues the tradition of ranking schools based on the number of AP/IB tests taken among other factors. As a result, the curriculum and student quality suffered. But the schools' who went down the AP uber alles path scored really high!
Local Guy January 19, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Yeah, Evergreen is a little scary for the stuffy, buttoned down type, with all that independent and non provincial thought process that is encouraged...
dexterjibs January 19, 2013 at 06:36 PM
No, Evergreeen is a little too much for the reasonable thinking average person that majors in common freakin sense.
dexterjibs January 19, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Oh yeah James. those evil Tea Party types. How dare they expect accountability in government. How dare they expect government only spend what they bring in and how dare they expect institutions of learning to actually educate people instead of indoctrinating them. An indoctrination that I believe led to the death of Rachel Corrie.
Kendall Watson January 19, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Now now, Mr. D-j. A goodly number of arch-conservatives have a Dartmouth degree collecting dust on their mantles (not to mention other Ivies & the cohort of so-called selective schools). I'm aware of the attempt to demonize college faculty nationwide as a collective of "left-wingers", but nonetheless, these institutions continue to produce their fair share of "right-wingers" as well.
Kendall Watson January 19, 2013 at 07:36 PM
The part about earning a higher ranking in those top-100 lists is certainly true, although I'm not sure about your synthesis that therefore the curriculum suffers. How? Mercer Island for years turned aside calls to avoid AP because they maintained that the honors program was "a much higher quality", but I never understood upon what basis this claim was being made. Also notable is the fact that AP exams are taken into account when students are applying for admission — especially at these so-called selective schools — so there's more to it than college credit.
Kendall Watson January 19, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Good point from an apparently even more "jaundiced eye". We may have a public school system but we don't have a public higher ed. qualification system like the British do. Ours is instead a private-sector industry.
NRA & HOG guy January 19, 2013 at 08:40 PM
NRA & HOG guy It would appear the local community is on a fast pace to now have the crushing number of possibly 9 conservatives. My 3 loves are liberals, low information voters and massive, powerful and overly intrusive government and of course my HOG.
Edward A. January 20, 2013 at 09:36 AM
Dexterjib, I seldom see you say anything substantive. Your aim, like your apparent hero, Rush Limbaugh's, appears to be antagonize the people you disagree with. Do you think that makes you superior? Do you think that is what Jesus would do? Like that fat slob, drug-addict, Rush Limbaugh, you are merely a troll.
Kendall Watson January 20, 2013 at 03:47 PM
@Edward A.: Calling someone a troll is somewhat abusive in my view, and comes awfully close to violating our terms of use. Please avoid personally attacking other commenters in this way. Thank you.
dexterjibs January 20, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Edward A to answer your profound questions; No, I don't think I am more superior, I just love tweaking the left. And as far as what would Jesus do, I can't claim to know what Jesus would do. My goal of getting under your skin has been accomplished. And hopefully I have accomplished my goal of making a few liberals think to themselves, "Maybe dexter is right, maybe Evergreen College is really a messed up college that needs to be completely overhauled, especially since they are living off the tax payers wallet". If I can do that, then I have won. You have a nice day Edward A.
Local Guy January 20, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Broad brush strokes of ignorance...
Been there January 20, 2013 at 06:47 PM
The AP classes at both Gig Harbor High School and Peninsula High School are a joke. They are elitist classes taught by teachers who think they are better than the other teacher and students who fancy themselves better than other students. The truth is that the classes are dumbed down for two reasons: the teachers of the AP classes are not the equivalent of college or university teachers, and the classes are open to any student, even if the student got D grades in preceding classes. All this just to make the district look good about how many AP classes each high school has.
Mary L. Ballard, MD January 20, 2013 at 08:13 PM
I believe we had AP classes when I went to college, back in the stone age. I did not take them because I did not want to work that hard in my senior year and I did not want to miss out on taking classes in college from established University professors. My son took AP classes at Enumclaw High School, mostly to improve his skills in preparation for college next year. You think I can write, you should see his stuff!
Edward A. January 20, 2013 at 09:36 PM
He admits he is a troll. He openly acknowledges his goal is to "tweak" people. That is what trolls do. Perhaps calling him "merely" a troll is abusive, so I apologize for that. He is a troll, but he might be other things too :)
Edward A. January 20, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Dexterjibs, you presume far too much -- you haven't gotten under my skin. I was simply observing that your goal seems to be to provoke others without making substantive arguments. And I will have a nice day.
Edward A. January 20, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Also, check out dexterjib's comment history if you want to see what abusive behavior is. "Trent is a very delicate, sensitive guy. I am surprised he is married to a lady." "You again, Joe H, geez you are like a little gnat" "Sounds like you are a sensitive little guy, Trent, so i want call you names." "Sorry Joe, i am not a gullible fool like you." ...ad nauseum. It irritates me that I got a public warning for calling an obvious troll a troll, while the troll gets a pass.
Kendall Watson January 20, 2013 at 09:53 PM
Fair enough, Edward. Dexterjibs' comments have disappeared from time to time, and you have observed the reason why. We often give no warning for folks like that. I am also aware of what a "troll" is in online parlance, thanks.


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