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News Opinion

AP courses don't equal education [Letter]

I read with interest your story on AP courses in public high schools ("Some parents, educators are rethinking role of AP," Jan. 18). My godson attends Boys' Latin. He is not an AP student. He is active in sports, the school chorus and the hand chime chorus. He is getting an excellent, well-rounded education. The assignments for his non-AP classes are thoughtful and thought provoking. He must respond to questions for which there is not one right answer. How very much that is like the life he will lead as an adult. He is being prepared to function as a participating citizen in a democracy. He is also being prepared for college.

My experience with AP classes as an educator with 50-plus years of experience at both the secondary and higher education levels is that the goal is to pile knowledge higher and higher but no broader than a needle. Much of what is memorized today is forgotten tomorrow, and that is just as well since it is also useless or not even any longer true.

Americans have always had an infatuation with numbers. We believe if we can assign a number as a measurement to something we have somehow made it real. As the Little Prince said, most of what is real cannot be seen. Our current obsession with testing and test scores is preventing our children from being educated.

I am delighted my godson is not part of this foolishness. The emperor has no clothes; perhaps someone will notice that.

Linda J. Jacobs, Randallstown

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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