Ten South Florida schools led the nation in the number of black and Hispanic students passing AP exams, reports the Miami Herald.
The results came as no surprise at Coral Reef Senior High School in Southwest Miami-Dade, which led the country in Hispanic performance in European history and both black and Hispanic performance in English language.
”If you want to get ahead, the only way is to take an AP class,” said Janelle Costa, a 16-year-old student in Christina Strickland’s AP English course, which is hardly the traditional lecture.
. . . When the students groan that the work is too hard, predicting doom on the spring’s standardized AP test, she reminds them that they have plenty of time to work — including Saturday study sessions.
”Hate me now, love me later,” she chanted.
At Coral Reef, like many top AP performers, hard-driving teachers and a self-perpetuating campus culture push students to enroll in AP classes instead of less demanding courses.
As more marginal students try AP classes, the percentage passing the end-of-year exam falls. But there’s evidence students benefit from enrolling in more challenging classes, even if they don’t do well enough to earn college credit for their high school work.