Sometimes, in our rush to provide everyone with a better learning experience, we gloss over the opportunities that currently exist for great learning that can happen both because of and in spite of current learning environments.
I am somewhat divided on the topic of AP classes, as the ones I took in English and Calculus were the ones I most enjoyed and remembered in all of high school. The teachers were supportive and made the courses about learning and not the test. However, my AP credits let me skip an entire year of college and start teaching even sooner. That was my goal, but I enjoyed every minute of the journey in getting there.
Now, I think that it is pretty likely that I enjoyed these courses because I was really good at playing the game of school. I could write an essay without trouble and I could study for a few hours and do well on tests. I do not believe that the ability to do those things should determine whether or not you have a great learning experience. I believe that opening up many other opportunities for kids to learn is the right approach. However, I do not begrudge those who enjoy the challenge of an AP-style curriculum. It isn’t for everyone, and we shouldn’t push everyone to do it. But, I don’t think we need to remove it as an option either.