By Katrina Schwartz
Advanced Placement courses have long been the standard for high achievement in high school. The classes are modeled on college courses and are meant to represent the difficulty and breadth of material that students are expected to handle when they get to college. For that reason, some colleges give in-coming freshman credits or allow them to pass out of introductory courses if they score a three or above on the AP test (it’s scored from one to five).
In many schools, AP classes are more popular than ever, as students seek a leg up in the competitive college admissions process. But now, some of the most elite schools in the country are opting out of the AP frenzy, saying they can design better and more rigorous courses on their own that won’t force them to adhere to someone else’s curriculum and timeline and force teachers to teach to the test. And, instead of replicating a college level course in high school, they say they can go one better – partnering with local colleges so their students get the real deal.