Silver Chips Online

AP teachers pass College Board audits

All Blair course syllabi approved

By Anshul Sood, Online Sports Editor
September 8, 2007
The College Board approved all of Blair's Advanced Placement (AP) course syllabi, deeming them to be at college level. All 36 of the AP teachers at Blair passed the audits and will not be required to redesign their AP courses.

At Blair, counseling department resource teacher Marcia Johnson was in charge of handling the audits. In an e-mail to the AP teachers, Johnson said that "36 AP teachers submitted their syllabus by the deadline of June 30, 2007" and as of Sept. 8, "all 36 teachers have had their syllabus approved and the AP course given the designation of 'Authorized' by the College Board."

According to AP world history teacher Rondai Ravilious, College Board made the audits mandatory when some students began arriving at college without adequate preparation from their high school courses. "Colleges were complaining that AP students weren't caught up on the material and refused to grant freshmen credit," she said.

During the auditing process, College Board reviewed syllabi from teachers throughout the country. Each syllabus was required to outline course specifics, include the teacher's general approach to the subject, list the types of assignments and types of sources for teaching the material and discuss major projects. Teachers from one school teaching the same subject were permitted to submit similar outlines.

Since no teachers had their syllabus rejected, Blair has not had to deal with remaking any of the courses. Teachers who are not approved must change their course and resubmit their syllabi, said Johnson. Teachers have until November to have their course approved. If it is not, then they lose their AP status during the next school year. According to College Board, the AP audits will not occur annually and only have to be conducted when an approved AP teacher is replaced with a new teacher.

On the whole, Blair teachers found the audits to be unnecessary. "Blair's scores have always been great on the AP English exams," said English resource teacher Vickie Adamson. "It seems that this record of performance would speak for itself. I have never been sure why the College Board needs more than exemplary scores on their exams to demonstrate instructional readiness or worthiness."

Social studies resource teacher George Vlasits believes that College Board is correct in approving all of Blair's AP courses. "I think that we have an excellent AP program with a very high pass rate," he said "But [I] would like to see the school system put more resources into supporting students who have moved up to AP classes."

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