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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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Making a Difference

Making a Difference

(p.209) 12 Making a Difference
Learning in the Fast Lane

Chester E. Finn

Andrew E. Scanlan

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter looks at the good that Advanced Placement (AP) is doing against the challenges that it faces now. When AP emerged in the 1950s, and for decades thereafter, poor and minority youngsters had limited access to the best that American education had to offer, and those limits were part of what kept them poor. Today, however, AP's rich curriculum, sophisticated pedagogy, and rigorous expectations are coming within reach of many girls and boys from disadvantaged circumstances, thanks in no small part to the College Board's wholehearted embrace of that additional mission as well as the hard work and support of policy makers, educators, and philanthropists. Yet desirable as it is to open AP-level academics to more kids in more schools and thereby help level the playing fields of life, the reason this is hard to make happen is that genuine success requires so many other things to move in sync, both in school systems and in the lives of kids. Nevertheless, opening the AP door to more kids is a good thing to do, not only for the benefit of those immediately affected but also because its implications should reverberate through what precedes and follows it. The chapter then considers the future of AP program.

Keywords:   Advanced Placement program, poor youngsters, minority youngsters, American education, disadvantaged youngsters, College Board, school systems

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