AP Classes For Everyone

Joseph Niczky

Bethpage High School’s policy is to encourage as many students to take AP classes as possible. In fact, some teachers – particularly those in the history department –sign up most of their students for AP classes, regardless of their grades. This leads many students who wouldn’t normally take these classes to enroll. Cynics view this as a way for the school to boost its position in the annual Newsweek rating of public high schools (which is based on the percent of students enrolled in AP courses). While this may be true, it is also beneficial to the students.

The policy of nondiscrimination when it comes to AP classes exposes students to new educational opportunities. The challenging courses make students apply themselves, possibly for the first time. In fact, this theory has been so successful that the percentage of students earning a passing grade of three or higher is now higher than ever. The nature of these courses will help prepare students for college. Even if students do not do well in AP courses, they will still have an advantage in college over students who did not even take the AP course.

There is some concern that students who cannot handle AP classes will take advantage of the policy and simply fail them. However, most students know what classes they can handle. Even if AP classes are available to them, if they feel they are too hard, they won’t take them.