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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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Growing AP in Gotham

Growing AP in Gotham

Chapter:
(p.72) 5 Growing AP in Gotham
Source:
Learning in the Fast Lane
Author(s):

Chester E. Finn

Andrew E. Scanlan

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691178721.003.0006

This chapter assesses how the nation's largest school district, New York City, is tackling its own Advanced Placement (AP) challenge. In 2018, the city's Department of Education (DOE) housed more AP students than all but a dozen states. It is therefore not surprising that the challenge of effecting any major change in how AP works in Gotham is gargantuan when placed alongside a city like Fort Worth. Yet the story of AP in the Big Apple shares many of the same dynamics seen in Texas. As recently as 2015–16, more than a hundred of the city's four-hundred-plus high schools offered no AP courses at all—and many of those schools are located in poor neighborhoods full of African American, Hispanic, and immigrant youngsters. Over the years, municipal leaders sought in various ways to rectify this obvious inequity, even as they undertook myriad other high school reforms. One such growth initiative came in September of 2013, when the DOE joined forces with the College Board and the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to launch an “AP Expansion” program meant to last three years. Two years later, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared—as part of his own ambitious education initiatives—that AP would be introduced into every high school that did not already have it. The chapter then analyzes in detail these two citywide initiatives, including their early results and some lessons that may be drawn from their experience to date.

Keywords:   New York City, Advanced Placement program, Department of Education, Advanced Placement students, high schools, Advanced Placement courses, high school reforms, Advanced Placement Expansion, education initiatives, Bill de Blasio

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