Monday, February 23, 2009

Advanced Placement versus Higher Ed

interesting battle going on here between colleges and universities and Advanced Placement. Not sure I understand Tufts arguments - don't most universities have mechanisms in place for testing out of courses. Of course, we sill charge tuition for students who test out - hmmm, maybe I do understand.The Quick and the Ed
Is a college diploma the certification that a student has spent enough time at the college, or is it a certification that the student meets the institution's academic standards? That question is central to a debate at Tufts over whether the school should limit the number of Advanced Placement credits a student can earn. To Tufts faculty at least, the answer is the former:

James G. Ennis, chair of the committee and sociology professor, said that the past year has seen much debate among the faculty about the transfer value of AP credits. He said many faculty members have questioned whether the substance of an AP test can truly replicate the value of face-to-face coursework at Tufts.

In other words, it's not enough to have a nationally normed standardized achievement test measuring a student's content knowledge in one of the 30 subjects now offered. No, a better way to ensure quality would be to have different Tufts faculty teach their own versions of the courses to small to medium sized classes, administer their own examinations, and submit their own subjective grades. And students can have access to this Tufts brand all for the low, low price of two annual payments of $25,700.

Or they could pick the version that's standardized across the country, that's graded rigorously against thousands of their peers, and which costs students exactly $86. Is the decision about quality, or is it about the Tufts brand?

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