One standardized exam that won’t be cancelled…
College Board on this year’s AP exams: “We’re investing in the development of a new at-home testing option.”
Giving this year’s AP exams in the present Covid-19 school-closure format, advantages some students and disadvantages others. This is one Standardized exam (the liberal woke-folks are not fighting to get rid of by the way), that will not be eliminated.
Allowing students to take “home-based” AP testing options raises a lot of questions about the validity of the resulting grades. After only a small section of the national college admissions scandal was exposed recently; I wonder how many well-educated parents are going to “play fair” and allow their children to not score high enough to earn college credit? Yes, in a perfect world (we don’t live in), everyone would take the test fairly and honestly. And for the disenfranchised AP students who takes the exam, how many have access to ‘experts in the field’ if they even chose (as they should not), to cheat like their advantaged peers? Also, students with documented (IEP’s, 504 plans) disabilities will most-likely not be able to get the “accommodations”, support and assistance (e.g. adaptive technology) they need to have a fair shot at taking or even doing well on an AP exam.
I get that (and have used) these AP exams as an important tool to reduce college student’s debt and to quickly move students up to more advance classes in their college majors, but the testing conditions must be fair to all students regardless of their parents access to financial and human educational resources.
The College Board’s “test security measures” are a joke and can be easily circumvented. Either cancel the AP exams completely, or these AP exams should be given in places like a sports arena, where the seats could be safely placed far distant from each other. Or, the colleges could offer presently enrolled AP students a ‘cost free’ for credit college course in that student’s AP subject area.
The College Board is correct in allowing AP exams like Studio Art and Design to be submitted digitally; but I also see this as a problem. Many schools (I have) put up the money parents don’t have to pay for the AP Art materials and equipment; what if parents can’t afford to pay for their child’s AP art supplies? A further reason why poor kids, kids with parents who are not highly educated, parents who lack financial resources, or don’t have connections to a highly educated and specialized content/subject contact person(s), are at a distinctly severe disadvantage.
Finally, (and this may do the trick) I suspect that many white middle class/working class families are, due to the Covid-19 virus crises, are presently in economic hardship status and can’t support their child’s AP educational needs (e.g. Test prep classes and materials). I get that the College Board is a business and does not want to refund money to districts (or not get paid for exam fees); but they need to fall back here and do the right thing on behalf of American children.
* “Long-term school closures will produce student winners and losers: Sadly, the U.S. Covid-19 virus pandemic will expose and expand the PreK-12 Educational Learning Opportunity Gap… https://majmuse.net/2020/03/24/notes-from-in-house-exile-sadly-the-u-s-covid-19-virus-pandemic-will-expose-and-expand-the-prek-12-educational-learning-opportunity-gap/