AP Advocates in Action
Advocates at APAC
The AP Annual Conference (APAC) is the largest professional development gathering of the Advanced Placement Program® (AP) and Pre-AP® communities. During this year’s conference in July, the State Advocate Leads met to review their advocacy work and plan for the 2018-19 school year. AP Advocates had a chance to connect with new and experienced teachers of all 38 AP courses, College Board leadership, AP coordinators, counselors across the country, and many international colleagues. During APAC, we were thrilled to add 80 new Advocates to our team. We look forward to seeing you again at your state’s next convening and in Orlando for APAC 2019!
AP Program Updates
New AP Resources Coming Soon
Next year, the AP program will be making some exciting changes to better support AP students, teachers and coordinators. Beginning on August 1, 2019, AP teachers and students will gain access to a set of new classroom resources. At the same time, some of the processes around AP exam registration and ordering will change. The new resources will help teachers focus instruction and give students meaningful feedback and practice, and the new exam processes will be more efficient for students and coordinators.
Among the new resources will be Unit Guides, which will outline content and skills so that you can scaffold, deepen, and extend instruction where needed. Detailed course frameworks and stable exam formats will help you anticipate what students will see on the exam day, and the AP Question Bank will provide you with real AP exam questions that can be filtered by topics and skills to create customized practice assignments. Finally, the Performance Dashboard and Personal Progress Checks will help you to track student progress on specific content and skills and pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, providing real data you can use to tailor instruction to the specific needs of your students.
Teachers and students will gain access to these resources by completing a short digital activation process at the beginning of the school year. Visit AP Central to learn more.
Number of Girls and Underrepresented Students Taking AP Computer Science Spikes Again
New data shows that, in 2018, nearly 136,000 students took an AP computer science course, a 31% increase from last year—and female, African American, Latino, and rural students were among the fastest growing groups. The demand for the new AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) course, launched in fall 2016, is responsible for much of the growth. AP CSP introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology impact the world.
AP World History Update
The current AP World History course and exam attempt to cover 10,000 years of human history—from the Paleolithic Era to the present. In contrast, colleges manage the unique breadth of world history by spreading the content across multiple courses. Because AP World History does not do so, a majority of AP World History teachers have told us that they were teaching too little about too much. Students’ essay scores on the end-of-year AP Exam have reflected that overwhelming challenge. Our discussions with, and feedback from, AP teachers, students, and college faculty underscores that we share the same priorities: engaging students in the rich histories of civilizations across the globe and ensuring that such important content is given the time it deserves. Based on the feedback we received we recently announced:
· AP World History: Modern will begin in 1200 CE starting in the 2019-20 school year. This will ensure teachers and students can begin the course with a study of the civilizations in Africa, the Americas, and Asia that are foundational to the modern era.
· In addition, for schools and students interested in AP coursework that covers 10,000 years of world history, we are committed to offering a second AP world history course—AP World History: Ancient. To develop this course, exam, and accompanying resources, we’ll first need to confirm the willingness of colleges to award credit for an additional AP world history exam, and the interest among high schools to offer two full, separate AP world history courses. To fill out the interest form (for high schools) or the credit commitment form (for colleges), go to Confirming Interest in a New AP World History: Ancient Course and Exam.
- For students who do not pursue a college-level AP world history course in 10th grade, we continue to recommend the Pre-AP World History and Geography course, a curriculum that gives teachers the flexibility to sample topics across the full sweep of world history. Students who take a Pre-AP course can stand out in college admissions. In Florida, for example, students receive GPA bonus points for taking Pre-AP classes. The Pre-AP course framework is available at no cost on our website for schools to download and use.
Program Spotlight CSP
100 AP CSP Teachers Hosted at Facebook
The AP Program, in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Facebook, hosted 100 AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) teachers for a two-day professional development event in early August at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. The AP CSP Teacher Summit, funded by NSF, has occurred annually for the last five years. The goal is for participating teachers to share this information with their students to show them the opportunities computer science can provide.
Over 400 teachers applied for one of 100 spots at this year’s summit. Almost 60% of attendees have been teaching computer science for two years or less. Attendees were from 39 states.
“I live in such a different kind of community with mainly service industry available for our kids, it was good to see Facebook and a different kind of work setting that may be possible for my students. Everyone can become a bit marginalized by the kind of community they live in and being able to travel and be exposed to new systems and ways of thinking is important...especially for a teacher. I have also made some great new friends. One even reached out to me today and wished me good luck on the opening of school. I feel like I have personal resources I didn't have before and it will make me a stronger teacher. Thank you.”
“The highlight of the summit was networking with other CSP teachers who are experiencing the same triumphs and challenges that I am. Since I don't work with anyone who teaches CSP, this was especially meaningful.”
Photos by Travis Watts Photography.
AP Alumni Spotlight
Major: Public Policy/Minor: Computer Science
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Graduated from Western Sierra Collegiate Academy, Rocklin, CA 2017
"My experience with AP classes during high school was a huge part of my preparation for college and has directly and indirectly helped me during my time at university. In my linear algebra and multivariable calculus course, every day I draw directly from the advanced concepts Mrs. Leonard taught me in AP Calculus AB and BC in junior and senior year. In my humanities courses, like The Rhetoric of Language and American Identity, I still implement the fundamental writing practices I learned from Mr. Dahl in AP Language and Composition. And most importantly, my work habits, which are a result from studying for AP courses in high school, have allowed me to succeed and stay on track during a challenging first year of college."
AP Teacher Spotlight
AP Advocates State Lead, Illinois
Campus: Addison Trail High School, Addison, Illinois
Courses teaching: AP Italian, Italian 3 Honors and Italian 2 (currently). I have taught all levels from Italian 1, 2, 3 honors, 4 honors and AP. I also began the Italian program with five Italian 1 classes and, 24 years later, we have every level and three Italian teachers!!!
Years teaching: 24
Coffee, Tea or Espresso: ESPRESSO!
Favorite place: Italy, specifically Altomonte in Calabria (city where I was born...shocker)
Change in policy: Something that is so dear to my heart is foreign language. I would make it mandatory that all children from 2nd grade on take a foreign language. It should not be an elective, it should be a core subject, as it is in Europe and other places in the world. This is imperative because the world has become so small. We need to be at the same level of competitiveness as our foreign counterparts.
What does AP mean for students?
“Truly the first thing that pops into my mind is, opportunity. Opportunity to engage in something new and different. Exposure to a college course.”
How has AP changed you as a teacher?
“It’s given me more compassion. More patience.”
Fireside Chat with Edward Biedermann Executive Director AP Program
We are planning state wide AP Advocate events. See dates below and RSVP for your state event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, you are welcome to bring a guest AP teacher with you.
Georgia, Atlanta - October 3rd
Pennsylvania, Harrisburg - October 9th
Illinois, Chicago - October 18th
Indiana, Indianapolis - October 25th
Minnesota, Minneapolis - November 1st
New York, Rochester - November 8th
Washington, Seattle - November 9th
Arizona, Phoenix - November 12th (date may change)
We are Expanding!
The AP Advocates Program is expanding! We will be sending a recruitment email to AP Teachers in the upcoming weeks in some states. Please share the information on becoming an AP Advocate with your fellow AP teachers.