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Learning in the Fast LaneThe Past, Present, and Future of Advanced Placement$
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Chester E. Finn and Andrew E. Scanlan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691178721

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691178721.001.0001

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The Lone Star Challenge

The Lone Star Challenge

Chapter:
(p.53) 4 The Lone Star Challenge
Source:
Learning in the Fast Lane
Author(s):

Chester E. Finn

Andrew E. Scanlan

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691178721.003.0005

This chapter focuses on the Advanced Placement (AP) program in Texas. No place in America offers a larger or more vivid example of AP's recent history, its widening mission, and the challenges of carrying out that mission than Texas. The Lone Star State illustrates the complex interplay of traditional AP success in upscale schools; ambitious efforts to extend it to more disadvantaged youngsters; robust, AP-centric charter schools; and an exceptionally bumptious and varied array of dual-credit alternatives. As in most of the nation, AP participation has surged in Texas for four straight decades, and the upward slope has recently steepened. The number of exams per pupil rose, too, spurred by governmental and philanthropic moves to grow the program as well as intensifying college competition among high school students. The chapter then evaluates the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). The Fort Worth experience with NMSI—and the Texas experience more generally—illustrates the challenge of expanding AP to students who have not historically had much access to it or enjoyed great success with it.

Keywords:   Advanced Placement program, Texas, disadvantaged youngsters, Advanced Placement participation, college competition, high school students, National Math and Science Initiative, Fort Worth

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