Advanced Placement courses are being phased out at high-scoring Scarsdale High and replaced by Advanced Topics classes. AP is the “gold standard” for quality, says the principal, but AT is “platinum.”
A year after Scarsdale became the most prominent school district in the nation to phase out the College Board’s Advanced Placement courses — and make A.P. exams optional — most students and teachers here praise the change for replacing mountains of memorization with more sophisticated and creative curriculums.
Fewer students take A.P. exams: For those who do, scores rose in five Advanced Topics courses but dropping in U.S. history and U.S. government.
College Board says AT is just AP in sheep’s clothing. If Scarsdale High wants to add essays by Francis Bacon and Virginia Woolf or a week on modern art to its literature classes, that’s no skin off AP’s nose. If the classes are good, students will be able to pass the AP exam.