A group of AP teachers, counselors, and administrators got together today and discussed the AP Program. Specifically, should students in AP classes be required to take the test? Should the school grant the GPA bump for the course, even for those who don't take the test, especially when some students are taking the class just for the GPA bump? (We actually got to using the phrase, "the students are using us" when taking classes just for the bump and not for the test and the knowledge--the way we're being played is a lot like someone trying to beat the odds in Vegas with a "system," and the house is losing in some areas.) Should a student have their grade in the course raised if they pass the test? Finally, what should the pre-requisites for the AP classes be?
The discussion became quite lively for two reasons: first, many of the teachers wanted to see the problems solved with minimal impact on the way they run their programs (Math is getting hit the hardest with students who aren't taking the classes seriously, but History doesn't want their methods affected, for example); second, there are teachers who might not have such a problem with the students' tactics. In the meeting I got the impression that one teacher felt the status quo was just fine, regardless of whether or not other subjects (or even his own?) were bleeding to death as a result.
In the final analysis, the administration will have to review two things: what the specific pre-requisites for future AP classes will be, and who should really be teaching them.