If APP kids start out ahead of their peers (i.e., they test in the upper percentiles on MAP achievement tests), and if they learn more quickly and require fewer repetitions to master new material (one of the reasons for programs like this in the first place), then why does the gap between APP kids and non-APP kids shrink rather than grow--such that they all end up in essentially the same position come high school entrance? Is it that SPS just doesn't do a good job of tapping into their potential, and providing opportunities for more advanced coursework? Is it that the curriculum is worse for APP than non-APP? Is it that they are learning the same material, but just in much more depth (which we really haven't seen...)? Or are they just wasting time, doing more busy work? Or something else?This sounds important, so I'm moving it to its own thread for more discussion. What do you think about this?
It's because the district doesn't want to/isn't required to offer appropriate classes in high school. I think Bellevue has the right idea with their high school program for highly capable students.
If SPS actually planned and implemented an appropriate curriculum, according to the goals and description on SPS's website, would we be having this conversation? What's concerning is things seem headed in the direction of further lowering the ceiling for APP students, rather than raising it. The newly announced scope and sequence has chipped away coverage of world history and now they may not even have the option of AP World History in 9th grade. It really does make you wonder what's the next thing to go.
The AL Dept has no say, and is not watching, how the APP program is being run, or not run. The lack of oversight is why Spectrum has all but disappeared. APP has been being chipped away at for years, and it seems more is happening now. The AL dept is very clear that they only have time to do testing and appeals, nothing more. Bob Vaughan was also very clear that he had no authority when leading AL, and I doubt an interim head has more authority. Those who do have authority over the program, clearly don't like it. I hate to say it, but I see the high school track ending very soon. The more they take away, the easier it is to say high school APP is not needed. It already is not an actual program in high school. I see the district eliminating the high school track and saying needs will be met all at high schools in various ways.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Declining challenge of APP
In an open thread, some parents were talking about their perception that APP has been weakening over the last several years. Some excerpts:
Posted by Greg Linden at 7:30:00 AM