The Real Value of Advanced Placement (AP) Courses—and Who Should Take Them

Imagine that your children have just completed eighth grade and are on the verge of attending high school. You attend the new student orientation, excited to hear all about the high school experience. Administrators, counselors, teachers, coaches—they’re all there, just waiting to tell you what to expect. After sharing the school mission statement, taking questions about the lunch plan, and collecting locker fees, the counselors and administrators excuse themselves, and the teachers step up to explain the courses available to your children.

Mr. Regular begins: “Hello everyone, I’m Mr. R. and I teach World Literature at the ninth-grade level. In this class, your ...

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