Why my students' Advanced Placement scores matter. And why they don't.

I fight the obsession with testing and over-testing in our classrooms.  Yet, given the choice, I choose to teach AP English Language every chance I get.  After months of intense writing and thinking, over sixty of my students took their AP test this morning.  This is the sixth time I’ve taught this class.  And each year, I value this course—and the experience of teaching it—more and more.

Focused on examining non-fiction and images as text, this class allows high-school students to enter complex conversations that matter to them—or that eventually matter to them. The only request I make of anyone who signs up for this AP class with me is that he or she be ready to write a lot and think a lot.  Every year since I started teaching this class in 2008, my classes are packed.  And when students change their minds after two weeks and want a schedule change, I don’t approve it.  “Too bad,” I tell ‘em.  “We’re stuck writing with each other for the whole year.”

Continue reading on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Blog, The Standard.

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