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College Board’s AP-botch Lawsuit: No “PR Stunt”

May 24, 2020

On May 19, 2020, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (“Fairtest”) and several individuals filed suit against the College Board, Educational Testing Service (ETS), and 50 individuals in a “nationwide and California class action complaint” related to College Board’s et al. botching of the 2020 administration of its Advanced Placement (AP) tests.

Via 13 “claims for relief,” including violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, gross negligence, unjust enrichment, and false advertising, Plaintiffs seek “compensatory damages in an amount that exceeds $500 million, with
the exact amount to be proven at trial.”

Washington Post reporting on the suit includes a response from Peter Schwartz, College Board chief risk officer and general counsel, calling the suit “a PR stunt masquerading as a legal complaint manufactured by an opportunistic organization that prioritizes media coverage for itself.”

In 2017-18, so-called “opportunistic” Fairtest reported an end-of-year fund balance of $17,551. Director Robert Shaeffer was paid $76K, and former executive director, Monty Neill, $91K, in total compensation.

In contrast, in 2018, Schwartz was paid $550K in total compensation as the chief lawyer for an educational testing nonprofit with an end-of-year fund balance of $1.1B and that paid its  CEO/president David Coleman $1.8M in total compensation.

Now that’s *opportunity.*

As for “media coverage for itself”: In 2018, College Board dropped a cool $4.3M for “advertising and promotion,” which was $4.3M more than shoestring-budget Fairtest, with its total 2017-18 revenue of $291K.

((Silence.))

Let us now take a gander at some of the details from Fairtest’s so-called “PR stunt” litigation against well-fed College Board.

Below are excerpts from Fairtest’s et al. 46-page suit. My goal in this post is to offer readers the opportunity to read portions of the document for themselves. As such, I include here excerpts from the first 18 pages of the suit. (I have highlighted a number of statements that particularly caught my attention.)

First, the backstory of the suit as is relayed in the full introduction:

Plaintiffs bring this suit against Defendants to recover the damages owed to them and others similarly situated and for injunctive relief as a result of the Defendants’ failure to allow access to and failure to administer its Advanced Placement (“AP”) program properly and without prejudice.

The College Board is involved at every level of the college preparation, testing, admissions, financial aid, and placement process. It is the leading player in the higher education industry responsible for the fates of millions of high school students every year, deciding who will be recruited, who will apply, who will be accepted, who will receive financial aid, and who will be able to afford college and other postsecondary opportunities. The Educational Testing Service (“ETS”) is responsible for the development, administration, and scoring of College Board’s assessments, including AP exams.

AP is a program offered by the College Board that offers college-level courses and examinations to high school students. Colleges and universities frequently grant placement and course credit to students who obtain passing scores on their AP examinations. The length of time each student will spend in college, their curriculum, and how much they pay to attend college are factors heavily influenced by College Board and the AP opportunities available to students. The College Board claims that AP courses and examinations also favorably impact college admissions decisions by demonstrating to admissions officers that a student is prepared for college-level work. AP courses strengthens a student’s high school transcript and help students qualify for scholarships.

In March of 2020, schools around the world moved to distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The College Board was faced with the decision of cancelling its popular and profitable AP program for the year, postponing the exams, or offering them at home to students. The College Board made the decision to offer the AP exams to students at home but with significant structural changes.

The College Board was immediately made aware by numerous sources, including counselors, educators, advocates and families, that there were seriousconcerns that the at-home AP exams would not be fair to students who have no computer, access to Internet or quiet workspaces from which to work, or to underresourced students in general. Even as the test began, questions remained about the availability and applicability of legally required accommodations for students with disabilities, the fair access to connectivity for all students, test security, and score comparability.

Counselors, educators, advocates, and families immediately reached out to The College Board to make them aware of their serious concerns with the at-home AP format’s likely impact on students who have no computer, access to Internet or quiet workspaces from which to work, or on under-resourced students in general. Even as the test began, questions remained about the availability and applicability of legally required accommodations for students with disabilities, connectivity, test security, and score comparability.

The College Board acknowledged that these issues existed, but it did not change its policies to address them. On May 14, 2020, after 3 full days of at-home AP exams, the College Board admitted that there was a measurable failure rate in uploading exams, and it attempted to change its policies going forward. The College Board’s President, David Coleman acknowledged in an email that, “we can’t control the conditions in students’ homes.” Technical problems with the digital versions of the AP exams caused and continue to cause tremendous angst for high school students and their parents during this already stressful time.

Before this year, high school students took their AP exams at school during the regular school day hours in a controlled and regulated environment where they could ask for assistance if necessary. The College Board acknowledged that it knew moving the exams home may exclude some students from testing at all, stating that, “We recognize that the digital divide could prevent some low-income and rural students from participating.” The College Board moved the AP exams to students’ homes under the present conditions despite this acknowledgement. In doing so, the College Board knowingly discriminated against under-resourced students, disabled students, and students in remote locations, and it failed to honor its commitments to students and their families.

After one day of testing, it became clear that the College Board and ETS had failed to fairly, competently, or equitably administer the AP exams. The students who relied on AP scores for the financial benefits of college placement and credit experienced technical glitches, timing issues, and a heightened level of anxiety and distress. Reports of anywhere between 5% and 20% of examinees were unable to submit their responses through the at-home testing platform during the first three days of AP exams. One AP Coordinator reported a failure rate of 30%. Some students could only submit partial responses, and others could not even log on to take the exams.

Despite the fact that these are challenging times for families, The College Board offered no acceptable remedies to students whose lack of digital access prevented them from fairly testing. Nor did it offer remedies to students who experienced glitches with the AP platform. On May 15, 2020, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported, “AP Tests During Covid-19: Heartbreak, Technical Glitches, and Anonymous Intrigue.” On the same day, The Washington Post reported, “College Board Says New AP Test Online Going Well – But Students Report Big Problems.”

The College Board intends to move all of its assessments to an at-home format, including the SAT; however, this year’s AP exam administration makes it perfectly clear that until the technical issues, the digital divide and other inequities are adequately addressed, it cannot not do so.

The challenge of the at-home AP exam format is only the final hurdle for many AP students, and it is also one step that many students may never even reach. Some AP students are fully denied access to AP exams and others must overcome additional hurdles to obtain access to AP exams based solely on where they are enrolled in school. Access is particularly challenging for students enrolled in California public charter schools or homeschools.

Next, what amounts to the introductory portion of the suit’s section on “common factual allegations”:

The College Board claims that students who score a 3 or higher (out of 5) on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree on time than non-AP students. As the only player in the education market with this level of influence over high school curriculum, college admissions, course placement, and financial outcomes, the College Board knows that access to its AP exams must be fair, reliable, and affordable.

To ensure that low-income students can access AP Exams at a reduced cost, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides funding for AP Exams and courses under the Title IV, Part A block grant. Additional funding is also available for states and districts to cover AP Exam fees for low-income students. In California, an increasing number of lower income students are enrolling in AP courses. Of the 58.7 percent of the state’s K–12 students eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program in the Class of 2017, 45.5 percent took at least one AP exam.

Each year, millions of high school students take 38 different AP exams at the end of the school year. In 2019, 3.1 million students took a total of 4.9 million AP exams at school. In 2020, 3.4 million students are registered to take over 5 million AP exams. During the first week of testing, students took or attempted to take over 2.2 million AP exams. The cost of an AP exam is generally between $100 and $150 per test.

In 2018, the College Board earned over $480 million dollars from its AP program alone. The College Board collected its exam fees in the Fall of 2019 for the Spring 2020 exams.

AP exams provide a means for high school students to earn college credit while in high school. Defendant College Board advertises that, “by taking an AP course and scoring successfully on the related AP Exam, [a high school student] can save on college expenses: most colleges and universities nationwide offer college credit, advanced placement, or both, for qualifying AP Exam scores… These credits can allow students to save college tuition, study abroad, or secure a second major.” College Board further advertises that, “[e]arning a qualifying score on the AP Exam can help you advance and avoid required introductory courses – so you can move directly into upper-level classes and focus on the work that interests you most.”

The AP program is the only widely available high program allowing students to earn college credits. Defendant College Board organizes and administers the AP tests. The AP program is the only means for high school students to test for college credit in dozens of subject matters. In order to obtain college credits, students are required to pass the AP test, as scored and reported by Defendants.

Passing scores (a 3, 4, or 5) on the AP exams can save students and their parents thousands of dollars in college tuition and costs. A successful student who take multiple AP exams can potentially finish college a year or more earlier than students who did not earn AP credit during high school. Some students understandably wanted an option to take their AP exams for college credit when COVID-19 forced their schools to convert to distance learning and they could no longer test at school.

However, the format of the at-home AP exams is different from the format students are accustomed to and different from the practice AP exams they have taken. The 2020 home-based AP exams are digitally-based instead of on paper as they have always been in the past. The new exams are scheduled to last only 45 minutes (actually 40 minutes with the required 5 minutes to begin uploading answers before the test ends) instead of 3 hours, and all tests in the same subject are given at exactly the same time. This means that some students in one part of the world could be taking an exam in the middle of the night, while others are taking it in the middle of the day. Students in Hawaii begin their first exams each day at 6 a.m., while students in New York begin the same exams at noon. The 2020 exams include material covered until the time of the COVID-19 breakout instead of the entire course curriculum. Most importantly, the exams are taken at home, where the testing environment can be unpredictable and distracting.

Some of the issues with the at-home format should have been anticipated. As soon as the College Board announced its plans to administer at-home exams, educators, students, parents, and AP coordinators voiced their concerns over equity and access issues. They also expressed concerns about timing and technical problems with the new format as well as score validity.

The College Board announced prior to the administration of the at-home exams that certain disability accommodations that were previously provided would be modified, eliminated, or were deemed “unnecessary” due to the new format.

Dozens of educators and counselors wrote an “Open Letter” to the College Board on April 22, 2020 outlining why the exams would not be fair to students who have no computer, access to Internet or quiet work spaces from which to work, or to students with disabilities who would not have their approved accommodations. Plaintiff FairTest announced that its concerns about the 2020 AP exams included computer equipment and technology, connectivity, the availability of legally required accommodations, security, and score comparability.

The College Board did not address these issues or change its policies prior to the administration of the at-home AP exams. In fact, on May 14, 2020, after 3 full days of AP exam administration, College Board’s President David Coleman acknowledged in an email that, “we can’t control the conditions in students’ homes.” He added, “Students may face technology or internet issues, need to tend to unexpected family obligations, or face other disruptions that will impact their testing experience. Like the virus itself, these disruptions will disproportionately impact low-income and underrepresented students.” Instead of changing the testing format to address the disparities among student testing environments, however, Mr. Coleman recommended that students explain their disadvantages to college admissions officers. In an admission that the tests are not valid for all students, Coleman said, “We’re working to ensure that students who take the exam in challenging situations can share context with admissions officers about their exam experience.”

The first week of the 2020 AP exams revealed the deep digital divide among AP test- takers, and it became clear how the revised exam format disproportionately impacted certain groups of students, including those who are underresourced, who lack access to technology or quiet workspaces, students with disabilities, and students testing in non-ideal time zones. A number of students suffered from technical glitches, timing issues, issues with their computer software, disability accommodation issues, and widespread panic due to the inability to reach anyone at the College Board for assistance.

After the first week of testing, The College Board reported a failure rate of only 1%, but AP coordinators and students told a different story. Schools estimated that anywhere between 5-20% of their AP test-takers were unable to submit their exam responses through College Board’s testing platform during the first week. Other students could not finish their exams or log into the platform at all despite practicing beforehand.

One AP Calculus teacher reported that 3 out of her 13 students, or 23% of her students, faced technical obstacles submitting their work during the AP Calculus AB examination. This Santa Barbara-area teacher reported that one of her students received an upload error message after the testing time had expired. A second student had issues with her devices, even though she had practiced logging on and taking mock exams with her teacher. A third student in the class reported that her screen froze, then went blank, and then logged the student out upon trying to submit her answers. This student was never able to get back into the exam to upload her submissions.

Another AP Coordinator reported that, “This whole thing was a mess. It was unprofessional and added more stress to the students, teachers, families, and coordinators.” Another AP coordinator reported a 10% failure rate on the AP Calculus exam. These reports from the ground to do not square up with the College Board’s statement that “the vast majority” of the 2.2 million students who tested last week successfully completed those exams, or its written statement that less than 1% technical of test takers encountered technical difficulties.

Students who experienced issues with the College Board’s platform emailed their time-stamped work to the College Board, but it was not accepted. They were told that their only remedy was to retake the exam over the summer, if they qualified for a retake exam. Students’ anxiety continued to grow as the week progressed due to legitimate fears that they would complete their work but not be unable to submit
it and would then have no remedy.

Students have not been able to confirm access to the retake exams despite
technical failures. Students have also reported that they have two AP exams scheduled for the same retake day and that they were told by The College Board that they would have to choose only one exam to take.

FairTest received an influx of reports about at-home AP exam failures and the lack of remedies. One parent reported, “We also had technical issues trying to sign up for a make-up exam. I spent over an hour on phone with CB. They refused to allow me to speak to supervisor and offered no reassurance that the problem would be fixed by a makeup.”

One student reported that, “Due to a technical malfunction on the College Board’s website during the APUSH exam (AP U.S. History), I was unable to submit by work. My dad has been critically ill and hospitalized for the past few weeks and despite this challenge, I persisted in preparing for my AP exams because I wanted to achieve my goals of earning college credits. Now, due to a technical issue on the College Board’s website, I am going to have to continue working during this incredibly stressful time in my life to prepare to re-take the exam in June.”

One parent said, “My son has time stamped images of his Physics AP answers. Why can’t college board find a way to accept those? We worry there is no make up for the make-up test. What happens if this glitch happens on the make up?” Another parent reported, “We also had technical issues trying to sign up for make-up exam. I spent over an hour on phone with CB. They refused to allow me to speak to supervisor and offered no reassurance that problem would be fixed by makeup.”

One student described the experience of carefully preparing for the exam but still being unable to submit his responses. “I took all precautions once I heard from some students that there were submission errors. I updated my computer, used chrome because it was recommended by the college board, sent my brother to my dad’s house so I wasn’t distracted during my test, and made my family get off the wifi so I could have the maximum potential my wifi could give me. . . Then, when I took Physics 1, my first answer submitted with no problem, but my second question wouldn’t submit.”

In response to the complaints, the College Board officials initially claimed that their systems did not malfunction, but the problems were instead caused by students. Students were instructed to update their browsers, disable plug-ins, and make sure their devices were properly set up.

Ultimately, in response to what some called a “tsunami” of complaints, the College Board made some adjustments to its policies, announcing on May 17, 2020 that it would provide a backup email submission option of browser-based exams for students testing between May 18 and May 22, 2020. Nonetheless, if the student is unable to upload responses through the exam platform or successfully transmit by email at the time of the exam, as in the case of a home connectivity problem, the student would still have to request a makeup exam. In addition, the College Board will not accept email transmissions from students who already tested between May 11 and May 15, 2020.

Students taking exams between May 18 and May 22, 2020 have an added safeguard, providing a slightly more desirable and less stressful testing environment for these test-takers. Students who experienced technical failures during the first week have still not received any confirmation that they will be eligible to take a makeup exam or that they will receive the added safeguard of email submission, even for their retakes.

Students who do not wish to retake their exams, and even those who do not wish to test at all, cannot receive a refund of their test fees directly from the College Board. Even though the College Board collected money for the AP exams at least six months ago, it will not directly issue refunds to students. The College Board has stated that after both the regular and makeup testing windows have passed, if students have not taken or attempted to take any exams, their schools will be refunded the cost of their exam fees. It is then up to the students to request fee refunds from their schools. The College Board’s website does not provide any instructions to students about how students can receive fee refunds. Its website says, “[L]ocal school policy determines the amount of the refund.”

These are challenging times for high school students and their families, emotionally and financially. Students are entitled to the valid and reliable exam they signed up and paid for, absent the severe stress and anxiety associated with the new format. Despite collecting what Plaintiffs believe to be approximately half a billion dollars in exam fees, The College Board has failed to provide students with an AP exam that is similar to the one they purchased.

Students have already reported issues with the time limits imposed by this year’s AP exams. The exams have not been properly piloted for time limits, and they are more speeded and abridged than the original versions. The College Board has acknowledged the timing issues. The 2020 AP Testing Guide states, “Don’t worry if you don’t complete all parts of the question before you need to attach and submit your response. To give students as many different chances to demonstrate what they know as possible, a question may have more parts than can be answered in the allowed time. You don’t need to complete the entire question to get a score of 5, but you do need to submit whatever work you’ve done.” While this could alleviate some students’ despair about not finishing their exams, it confirms the fears of other students that their scores will be seen as invalid or meritless.

Adding to the perception that the scores on this year’s exam may not be fair or consistent is the ability of high schools to review students’ scores and request score increases. The 2020 AP Testing Guide says that “AP teachers will have the chance to review your score and your exam responses this summer. If you don’t receive a score of 3 or higher and your teacher is convinced you should have, your teacher will be able to engage with the AP Program’s college faculty partners to review and confirm your score, ensuring it’s fair and appropriate.” This policy benefits students at schools with more resources, and it discriminates against students who are underprivileged or who attend under-resourced schools.

Moreover, there is no guarantee that the AP exam scores will count for anything in the collegiate landscape. While some colleges have said they will accept the credit, others have remained silent. Some colleges view at-home testing as inherently inequitable.

Defendants’ unlawful conduct has caused and will continue to cause substantial and irreparable damage and injury to Plaintiffs in ways that cannot be compensated with money, and Plaintiffs have no speedy, plain, or adequate remedy at law. Students pay for these AP exams but will have disadvantages due to the College Board’s restrictions and practices discussed herein.

The Fairtest et al. suit continues for an additional 28 pages and includes details about College Board’s choosing which schools/students have access to AP testing, the specific situations for individual plaintiffs, justification for class action status for several groups (e.g., “nationwide class, “fair access California subclass,” “disabled students California subclass), and more.

Not a PR stunt but instead a hefty underscoring of the bloated power testing wields over American education.

College Board is billion-dollar ineptitude.

money in safe

____________________________________________________

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9 Comments
  1. LisaM permalink

    Do you have any idea why CB moved up the payment date for taking the test? I found that to be odd.

    • Threatened Out West permalink

      What AP said is that their “pilot” of having the kids pay earlier showed that kids had “more stake in the exam” and passed at higher rates. That’s what they told us–but they never SHOWED anything in the way of statistics or studies that actually proved this. Kids had to pay for their tests by October 4, and if they dropped the test, they were charged a $40.00 penalty, so they only could get back $54 of the $94 the test cost.

      As an AP teacher, I have NO IDEA who was able to successfully submit the test. We don’t get that list until tomorrow, even though it is past the window for students to request a make up exam. So if I have a student who thought they successfully uploaded but actually didn’t successfully upload, they can’t take the retake and are still being charged the $94. If that happens, I am going to come UNGLUED at the CB.

  2. Christine Langhoff permalink

    This damning bit of information really stands out in FairTest’s complaint:

    “In California, an increasing number of lower income students are enrolling in AP courses. Of the 58.7 percent of the state’s K–12 students eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program in the Class of 2017, 45.5 percent took at least one AP exam.”

    What many educators, and certainly parents and students, are unaware of is that there has been an entire edifice erected around the AP exams, called the National Math and Science Institute (NMSI) a non-profit (as if) created by a businessman from the state where so many bad educational practices related to testing have their origins, Texas. Tom Ultican, on his blog, has all the dirt: https: //tultican.com/?s=nmsi&submit=Search

    In 2005, a spin off of NMSI made its debut in Massachusetts, called the MMSI. It eventually made its way to an arbitration with the Boston Teachers Union due to one aspect of the program which was a pay-for-test-performance scheme for AP teachers. We won a small victory when the money was allocated instead to the entire school on the basis that the AP teachers were not solely responsible for students’ successful test scores.

    During depositions, the head of MMSI, Morton Orlov III, testified that the goal was to have more students of low income and students of color take AP courses. When pressed, he admitted that the goal was *not* to have them achieve passing scores which might grant them great access to selective colleges, but merely to expose them to “higher levels of learning”.

    Personally, my oldest daughter took and did well on four AP courses during her junior and senior years, prior to MMSI madness. She was able to parlay those credits into a three year graduation from Wellesley College, thereby saving a year’s tuition (yaaayyyy). Four years later, when her younger sister was beginning the college search, selective colleges were not feeling the love for AP any longer. One counselor told me “that credential has been devalued”. The market had been saturated.

    It’s a scam and has been for some time.

    BTW, you can donate to FairTest Here: https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1566805 They work tirelessly on a shoestring to reduce testing and to defend our public schools.

    • LisaM permalink

      Explains a lot to me. Several years ago, my district went to pushing AP for all (they still are!!!). They got caught doing a dirty deed though. In the wealthier schools, the kids WERE NOT charged to take the AP exam….they were told that the school system was footing the expense. In the schools with more poor students (based on FARMs #’s), they were charging the students the $94 to take the test….knowing that poor families couldn’t afford to pay to take the test. They wanted the high #’s of AP students BUT they only wanted high test scores to be noted (because the tests only measure socio economic status of the students). The school system and real estate are very cozy around here and they love the ratings from US News and World Report (which uses the % of students taking the AP class in their super secret “formula”). It’s a big money making scam and I will never advocate for AP classes or tests.

    • Threatened Out West permalink

      Get this–I wish Fair Test knew this. CB now requires that when a low-income kid registers for the test, that we list those students BY NAME. We used to just have to give an aggregate number of how many students taking the test qualify for free or reduced lunch, but starting this school year, we had to give each kid’s NAME who qualified for free or reduced lunch, or we couldn’t request the tests. I find that a HUGE violation of FERPA, and am FURIOUS that College Board is collecting (and probably selling) that kind of very personal data.

      • LisaM permalink

        CB needs to be exposed and they need to get sued and go bankrupt. What they do to kids is wrong. AP is bad enough but the way they scare the kids into signing away privacy for the SAT so that they can sell data to colleges is about as low as a business can go. The crap that my daughter got in the mail after she took the SAT was not just from colleges…..all because she thought that if she checked the box, no college would look at her.

  3. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    LONG. Thank you for this briefing on the AP lawsuit and the highlighted text. I hope the College Board is not let off the legal hook. AP courses and tests have proliferated as if these, even if not completed or passed, are the best-ever sign of “rigor” in a curriculum and a “civil right.” That “civil rights” status was first conferred in 2004, during the administration of George W Bush, a Republican Congress, and the tenures of Secretary of Education Rod Paige and Margaret Spellings. Since then, all schools supply reports on their AP related courses to the biennial Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) as if AP and Pre-AP courses are essential elements for a national college and career-ready curriculum.

    Why does this matter? The CRDC collects data on “leading civil rights indicators” related to access and barriers to educational opportunity in public schools, early childhood through grade 12. Data is collected from juvenile justice facilities, charter schools, alternative schools, and schools serving only students with disabilities. The CRDC reports are used to check compliance with civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination in all programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age and discrimination in violation of the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act of 2001.

    I have looked at the categories included in this data collection from 1968 to the present. I initiated this search when ProPublica published a report titled Miseducation, citing CRDC data as if to show many schools did not offer “enough” AP courses and if so, these courses were much more likely to be taken by students classified as white.

    By 2008, the College Board had successfully lobbied the US Office of Civil rights and the managers of the Civil Rights Data Collection to expand data collection on the range of AP courses. That move was aided by a USDE “guidance letter” about the No Child Left Behind Act. The letter said, in effect, schools should offer AP and other courses indicating “rigor” in a curriculum. Moreover, if schools do offer AP courses, they must be open to all students, without discrimination. Since then, a specific set of courses have functioned as if a “civil rights” curriculum. In fact, this de facto curriculum reflects the preferences and lobbying power of the College Board and fans of a very specific college-prep curriculum for all. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-20080522.html

    The most recent CRDC reports, for 2017-2018, illustrate how a culture of test-taking and two decades of lobbying by proponents of “college and career” have influenced the Civil Rights Data Collection. In a new section of CRDC reports, called “Pathways to College and Career,” schools and districts must now report on enrollments in the following courses. The (*) means reports must be disaggregated by race, sex, disability-IDEA, and EL.

    AP COURSES
    Number of different Advanced Placement (AP) courses provided.
    Whether students are allowed to self-select for participation in AP courses.
    Number of students enrolled in at least one AP course*
    Number of students enrolled in at least one AP course in
    –AP math of any kind*;
    –AP science of any kind*;
    –AP computer science of any kind*; and
    –Other AP subjects of any kind, including foreign language.*
    Number of students who took one or more AP exams*
    Number of students who were enrolled in one or more AP courses but who did not take any AP exams*

    ALGEBRA 1 (College Board has a Pre-AP program) Algebra is treated as if that course should be mandated in specific grades.
    Number of Algebra 1 classes in grades 7-8.
    Number of Algebra 1 classes in grades 7-8 taught by teachers with a mathematics certification.
    Number of students enrolled in Algebra 1 in grade 7.
    Number of students enrolled in Algebra 1 in grade 8*
    Number of students who passed Algebra 1 in grade 7.
    Number of students who passed Algebra 1 in grade 8*
    Number of students enrolled in Algebra 1 in grades: 9-10; 11-12*
    Number of students who passed Algebra 1 in grades: 9-10; 11-12*

    MATH (College Board AP and Pre-AP courses)
    Number of math classes in grades 9-12 (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Advanced Math, Calculus).
    Number of students enrolled in Geometry in grade 8.
    Number of students enrolled in math courses in grades 9-12 (Geometry, Algebra II, Advanced Math, Calculus) *
    Number of math classes in grades 9-12 taught by teachers with a mathematics certification (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Advanced Math, Calculus).

    SCIENCE (College Board AP and Pre-AP courses)
    Number of science classes in grades 9-12 (Biology, Chemistry, Physics).
    Number of students enrolled in science classes in grades 9-12 (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)*
    Number of science classes in grades 9-12 taught by teachers with a science certification (Biology, Chemistry, Physics).

    COMPUTERS New and optional for the 2017–18. (College Board AP in Computer Science)
    Number of computer science classes in grades 9-12.
    Number of computer science classes in grades 9-12 taught by teachers with a computer science certification.
    Number of students enrolled in computer science classes in grades 9-12*.
    Number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) computer science in grades 9-12*

    INTERNET ACCESS. New and optional for the 2017–18
    Whether the school is connected to the Internet through fiber-optic connection.
    Whether the school has Wi-Fi access in every classroom.
    Whether school-issued devices can be taken home and used for Internet delivery of instruction.
    Whether students can bring their own devices to school for Internet delivery of instruction.
    Number of Wi-Fi enabled devices provided by the school for student instruction.

    Click to access 2017-18-crdc-data-elements.pdf

    How do these categories get created and used?

    These course and curriculum categories are only a few of those in the CRDC. The CRDC is used “to determine if civil rights have been violated, to initiate proactive compliance reviews, to publicize nationwide compliance problems, and to serve as a resource for persons concerned with student equity and opportunity.”

    All categories of data are created through the work of the bipartisan Commission for Civil Rights and appointees to seven regional offices where staff receive and process, from 51 states and the District of Columbia, complaints and suggestions for the US Office for Civil Rights. The categories are also created in response to surveys conducted by the office of the CRDC. Comments on proposed changes are also solicited through announcements in the Federal register.

    Here, for example, is a letter from the College Board to a CRDC official. It seeks a restoration of some canceled performance measures on AP course-taking. This letter cites the Education Trust as if an authority on the need for those performance measures. That is a dubious authority. Access the pdf from https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ED-2016-ICCD-0147-1459

    I think that the availability of scholarships based on high school GPA’s would be better indicators of equity and opportunity than the College Board’s monopolistic program of AP courses, tests, and other pre-AP products.

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  1. A Call For The College Board To Oust David Coleman | General News
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