The number of high school students who are taking Advance Placement classes is skyrocketing. In 2002, 1 million students took at least one AP exam, but five years later the teens signing up for a AP test jumped more than 50% to 1.6 million students.
Is all this popularity a good thing? Probably not.
Curious about this trend, the Thomas Fordham Institute commissioned a study that asked teachers across the country why students are taking AP classes.
Here are a couple of ugly realities that the researchers uncovered about AP classes:
Only 32% of teachers believe that tees are participating in AP classes because they want to be challenged at a higher academic level.
About 90% of teachers think that students are taking these harder classes primarily to make their college applications look better.
Should all these teenagers be taking AP courses? Probably not.
About 56% of teachers said they believed that “too many students overestimate their abilities and are in over their heads.” Just as disturbing, 60% of teachers think that parents are pushing kids into AP classes when they don’t belong in them.