“What the hell am I doing in AP?” asked Veronica, a Haitian immigrant who’d earned a D in the regular 11th-grade English class.
To boost the number of minority students in AP, Boston’s English High assigned unwilling and unprepared students to AP classes based on their “potential,” not their demonstrated abilities, writes Junia Yearwood, a retired English teacher, in the Boston Globe.
Veronica and many of her classmates asked for transfers to easier classes. They were denied.
Consequently, I was forced to continue teaching my 12th grade AP students material they should have learned long before: the eight parts of speech, basic sentence structure, and the correct conjugation of regular and irregular verbs. When Maureen’s essay on an AP sample test included ’’have tooken’’ for ’’have taken,’’ and when Grace interrupted my explanation of a periodic sentence with the question, ’’What is a clause?’’ and when all the other students admitted they were just as puzzled as Grace, my crash course in English grammar became necessary and urgent.
“Underperforming” English High could boast that its AP enrollment was second only to the city’s exam schools. But many of her AP English students ended up in remedial reading and writing classes in college.