Chronicle article on students’ stressing out over grades
The premise of this article is that students are having a hard time deciding which courses to take in order to prepare themselves for college entrance.
The dilemma of Lydia Breedlove is supposed to personalize the article. The reporter would like for the reader to assume that Lydia Breedlove’s parents went to UT Austin and got in to that school under the same requirements that Lydia now faces. Not true. Most parents who went to UT (and A&M) got in BEFORE the requirements were stiffened up. So chances are Lydia’s parents would have a hard time getting in these days IF they got in at all! Depending on their age, the SAT and ACT could be more or less difficult now than the one they took, if they took one of those tests at all.
Although not much attention is paid in this article to the ability of teachers, I would suggest that HCC instructors are far better qualified than most high school teachers as they must have a Master’s degree and at least 18 hours (a combination of both undergraduate and graduate–and someone correct me if I’m wrong as the HCC website is very unclear) in the field that is to be taught. I would suggest that those credentials are far better than what is required for high school teachers in local school districts where teachers are required to have only a Bachelor’s degree with a minor in a subject field (and it can be composite) in order to teach a subject. The conclusion that can be drawn is that taking a dual credit course better serves the high school student whether it helps with a grade point average or not. Also, we’re not talking about upper level college courses here; we’re focused on lower level English, math and so on that also serve to fill high school subject matter requirements.
In the past I would have balked at the dual credit course being given the same weight as an AP course, but not any more. The College Board and the Advanced Placement Program have been co-opted by left wing liberals, and the courses are being likewise dumbed down and politicized to the point of making them more an exercise in propaganda than of academics. Same thing for IB courses. So to me, the dual credit course is preferable.
If one should be of less value concerning grade points, it should be the AP or IB course, not the dual credit course.
Dartmouth College has set a good example by stopping the awarding of credit based on AP exams. It is also notable that the ACT is quickly surpassing the SAT as the instrument/test of choice for colleges to use in determining one’s ability to succeed in college. Having the College Board, the SAT and the AP courses in one’s rear-view mirror is a good idea for any school district as well as for students who want to have an academic background heading into college.
As for HISD Superintendent Terry Grier leading the charge in academics, I’m guessing that such is misplaced faith in his abilities.
When Rice University suggests that “students take the most challenging coursework possible,” I think I would take that suggestion as gold. It appears to me that dual credit courses are far more challenging academically than the propaganda based AP courses. (See “AP American History Changes” elsewhere at www.marymcgarr.com
I am also on record as suggesting that the International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are also inferior and coated with UN pap making them pretty much worthless in the realm of academics.
The title of this Chronicle article is misleading, and I realize the reporter probably did not create it. The title suggests that students are stressed about the tests. Actually the students are “stressed,” and perhaps that is the wrong word, about the inability of colleges and public school districts to figure out what is academically good for students and what is not, what measures the student’s academic ability and what does not, and which courses have the better teachers and which do not.
The HISD superintendent’s hedging on this matter is based on the fact that it is obvious which is the better road, but being on the College Board’s Board of Trustees makes him partial as I’m sure he has a vested interest in that organization based on his service and compliance with its agenda.