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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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Advancing Charter Schools

Advancing Charter Schools

Chapter:
(p.115) 7 Advancing Charter Schools
Source:
Learning in the Fast Lane
Author(s):

Chester E. Finn

Andrew E. Scanlan

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691178721.003.0008

This chapter studies the Advanced Placement (AP) program in charter schools. Because America's seven thousand charter schools primarily serve disadvantaged urban populations, and because the charter sector contains far more elementary and middle schools than high schools, AP has not loomed large there. Yet a handful of prominent charter networks beg to differ, for they have placed AP near the curricular center of their high schools and, sometimes, their middle schools. Unsurprisingly, the tightest embrace has come from networks that obsess about getting their graduates into colleges, especially competitive four-year colleges. For the most part, however, they also focus on poor and minority youngsters and thus can fairly be said to partake of the widening view that AP is no longer just for privileged kids. It is also a way to accustom disadvantaged students to challenging academic work, give them confidence that they can handle such work, incorporate college aspirations and possibilities into their own sense of reality, and, when successful, propel those young people forward with a nationally recognized credential attesting to their capacity to engage in heavy-duty academics and perhaps speeding their progress toward a valuable, marketable degree and the upward mobility that often follows.

Keywords:   Advanced Placement, charter schools, disadvantaged urban populations, high schools, four-year colleges, poor youngsters, minority youngsters, disadvantaged students, college degree

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