Millburn Board of Education Examines Advance Placement Qualifiers

Millburn Board of Education Credits: Bradley Klein

MILLBURN, NJ - Advanced Placement classes at Millburn High School have been offered for many years, but at the Monday evening Board of Education Meeting Assistant Superintendents of Schools Dr. Michael Ryan and Kyle Arlington released the results of their extensive AP Study. The study sought to address differing opinions and complaints surrounding AP admissions as well as to answer pressing questions about possible next steps for AP classes.

Ryan and Arlington gathered their qualitative and quantitative data from the Student Liaison Committee, conversations with MHS AP teachers, meetings with Millburn High School Principal Dr. Miron, examined trends in students’ scores in both AP classes and their prerequisite course in addition to other factors.

In their sampling of four AP classes, they looked at the students’ grades in AP Calculus, Biology, Language and Composition, and American History. They compared those grades to students’ marks in their respective prerequisite classes. Arlington and Ryan discovered that all of the students in these AP courses received at B or higher in the prerequisite class suggesting that a qualifier may not be needed. However, the two did acknowledge that many AP classes do not have corresponding prerequisites. 

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Despite their findings, many teachers feel qualifiers are necessary because class grades alone is not a sufficient measurement of a student’s AP readiness. Also, Ryan and Arlington found that teachers value qualifiers as a path for students to enroll in AP classes and determine readiness by targeting specific skills that are vital to success in a Advanced Placement course. 

Both Ryan and Arlington believe in the creation and adoption of a consistent MHS Assessment Framework to create a common understanding of assessment literacy that “achieves parity among teachers regarding the weighting of assessment categories (e.g. quizzes, test, class participation, homework, etc.)” for this school year. Next year, Ryan and Arlington believe a consistent Assessment Framework will allow the reexamination of the worth and value of AP qualifiers going forward.

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