The lack of consistency between Advanced Placement and dual enrollment courses in the formula for class rank garnered significant discussion during the Warren County School District school board's Monday meeting.
The idea that the board has intended, (a) student in AP...should have equal opportunity for valedictorian" as dual enrollment, Director of Administrative Support Services Amy Stewart said.
Currently, dual enrollment is treated as the more rigorous option as students have the possibility of obtaining 10 bonus points for weight per semester whereas AP students can only garner 10 for the entire year.
"We've grappled with the whole AP course and the test," Board Vice-president Donna Zariczny said.
For students to receive college credit in AP, a passing score in the corresponding AP exam is required but the district does not pay for students to take the test and the test is not a requirement to take an AP course.
"We're not getting a true barometer that they're passing the test," Zariczny said. "Why are we giving them the bump?"
"Our test results come back in July," Stewart said.
"When is actual class rank determined?" Board member John Grant asked.
"The last week of school," Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Gary Weber said.
"I will continue to vote no on any policy that makes (the) AP test an option," Grant said. He noted that the district is in possession of test results from AP courses taken during a student's sophomore or junior year. "I can't believe we're the only school (district) that has this difficulty. I just can't support the fact that we're giving AP credit... adjustment in standing, and we don't have the final authority of the AP program."
"We've had this discussion before," Board President Arthur Stewart said. "We can't change the AP structure. Those results simply come back many, many weeks too late; but we can be more diligent internally."
He proposed that the district analyze the grades received by students from the class room teacher against their score on the AP exam to ensure that high grades reflect high test scores and vice-versa.
"If you have a teacher (whose students score) 4s and 5s and, conversely, if we have a...teacher getting 1s and 2s, (we have) got to do something with that teacher administratively. I think we may have control of that."
There was also discussion regarding whether the full 10 point bump should be awarded to a student that receives a C or D from the teacher in the AP course.
Superintendent Dr. William Clark said that he "would discourage" the board from considering paying for the AP exam for students. Regarding the 10 point bump, he noted that "just adding 10 percentage points, that's a gift."
Arthur Stewart suggested that research on these statistics be referred to the Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee and considered part of high school reform.
Zariczny followed up by asking how students are fairing in the district's various dual enrollment programs.
Amy Stewart said that, once school is open for the fall, administration can review those statistics and prepare a presentation for the October committee meeting.