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Readers Respond

Private schools may hate AP classes, but public students need them

The headline, “Is it time to retire Advanced Placement classes?” (July 16), is an incomplete description of the self-laudatory commentary that follows. A more accurate headline would have been, “Another elite headmaster seeks to prevent competition from public school students.” Friends School of Baltimore’s Matt Micciche seems to believe that the students at private schools who are accepted at “the nation’s most selective universities” without the benefit of AP classes have proven that such tests are worthless. He does not acknowledge the role that wealth and privilege play in such admissions. Nor does he admit that in addition to the benefits of small class sizes, private school students also receive admissions coaching and assistance with college essays.

Most American students do not have these advantages. While Mr. Micciche extols the benefit of teaching real-world problems in the classroom, many American students get to the classroom while dealing with real-world racism, violence, poor health care and parental unemployment. For our public school students, success on AP tests is a vital way to prove that even though they received their education in a poorly-funded, overcrowded public school, they are as smart and have as much potential as the most privileged private school student.

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Our country cannot afford to allow headmasters of elite private schools to dictate educational policies. America’s public school students are vital to our future and they deserve the benefits that the AP programs provide.

Janet Bush Handy, Bel Air


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