In Which I Disagree With Diane Ravitch

Fact: Diane Ravitch is the one of my public education heroes. I’ve shared countless blog posts of hers with anyone willing to listen to well-researched, rational views on the state of education in America. (Obviously, this does not include members of the Michissippi GOP, the Mackinac Center, or Arne Duncan.)

This week, Ravitch pointed out how many of the “best” schools on US News & World Report’s top high school list are charter schools that are highly selective in their admission policies. Today, she questioned the merits of Advanced Placement courses:

Actually, it’s the College Board that has “pulled the wool over people’s eyes.” About AP, to be sure. But also about the SAT and PSAT, and Accuplacer, the placement test used by more than 60 percent of community colleges. They’re all mostly worthless, more hype than reality.

My high school made the US News list this year. I’m a 14-year AP teacher. I’ve worked six years as a reader of the AP Lit exam.

I disagree with Ravitch, and replied on her blog. She graciously reposted my response this afternoon. AP courses are rigorous. AP courses do help students prepare for college. Schools that offer AP courses that do prepare students for the rigors of college should be recognized for raising the educational bar.

While I disagree with Diane Ravitch on this subject, I have nothing but admiration for her steadfast fight against public school  profiteering corporate reform, Common Core, ALEC, and Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst.

To support Ravitch’s fight, please make a contribution to the Network For Public Education.


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