Honors and AP

I’m a little frustrated by the reading I’m doing about how obsessed colleges are with AP courses. Supposedly if you have that AP designation, your education is more “standardized” and they have an easier time judging whether or not you’re a worthwhile student. Part of why this bothers me I think is because it just doesn’t make any degree of sense. I have heard that AP somehow impresses them more than CC courses, and to me that just seems whack because in a CC course you are literally IN COLLEGE, experiencing college. What better way to demonstrate that you can handle uhm…college? 

Also the “school” I’m looking at online to take some high school-level courses at has some great course offerings that don’t fall in line with that perfect “AP track” plan. I’ve already read some Shakespeare and some American literature but I haven’t read anything from the world mythology English course and of course that’s the one class that doesn’t offer an “honors” version. I’m interested in Honors Oceanography but that isn’t Biology which leads to the wonderfulness of AP Biology II. Part of what bugs me is that a lot of colleges don’t require things like Biology anyway and have easy versions like Physics for Poets or whatever, so it doesn’t make sense to me why not taking AP Biology would somehow make you a “bad candidate.”

Supposedly it’s also about making sure a student is taking the most challenging courses possible. Uhm…well…what about times when students aren’t doing well in certain subjects? That is actually something that severely bugs me about school. If you’re bad at math, let’s say you start off in Algebra I (regular, not honors). The course doesn’t try to get you caught up to the Algebra I Honors students. There’s literally no way to catch up. A friend of mine took Geometry (regular) and then asked to be moved to Algebra 2 Honors and found that she could not keep up at all and that the course assumed having taken Geometry Honors. She got downgraded to regular Algebra 2 which ended up being way too easy for her. If education is supposed to be about educating people, why this system where if you don’t have it all together by the time you’re 15 you’re just fucked for life?

I guess supposedly the big reason for all of this is that colleges are competitive or whatever. To me, that’s not really a good thing. I mean, yeah, when those big ivies can actually boast that their students find jobs after graduation then we’ll talk but a friend of mine went to a new ivy and spent the first year out of college temping and being repeatedly ignored and rejected after college despite having a ton of job experience before graduation. 

My guardian’s valedictorian took a boatload of AP courses, went to Yale, and then dropped out after half a semester because it drove her nuts and then spent like 6 years at one of the state schools she used to turn up her nose at. There seems to be so much focus on getting in that there’s very little time to wonder what you’ll do when you actually get there. 


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