"While expanding access is generally a good thing, we need to make sure we're not watering down the experience for the high achievers,"..says it all.<quoted text>
Miracle Vitangcol, a Downtown Magnets junior with average grades and test scores, is failing her AP U.S. history class; she said she is overwhelmed by the rapid pace and volume of material she needs to memorize. But she said she intends to stick it out because the class is teaching her to manage her time, take good notes and develop perseverance.
"I'm struggling to adjust," she said. "But I keep telling myself,'It's OK. You can do it. Just push yourself.' "
Some critics worry that the open-access movement is pushing too many unprepared students into AP classes, as indicated by higher exam failure rates over the last decade and a persistent achievement gap among races. They also fear that open enrollment policies are prompting teachers to weaken courses and inflate grades.
"While expanding access is generally a good thing, we need to make sure we're not watering down the experience for the high achievers," said Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington-based educational policy organization.
This has been a problem ever since Affirmative Action came into play. It is rotting the core of academia.