AP (Paperback)

A Critical Examination of the Advanced Placement Program

By Philip M. Sadler (Editor), Gerhard Sonnert (Editor), Robert H. Tai (Editor)

Harvard Education PR, 9781934742556, 256pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2010

Other Editions of This Title:
Library Binding (4/1/2010)

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


AP draws together the most recent and rigorous research on the strengths and weaknesses of the Advanced Placement program.

With an annual yearly growth rate of 9.3 percent over the last two decades, Advanced Placement courses have become a juggernaut in American high school education. AP courses are routinely perceived as an indicator of educational rigor, and many schools push to enroll low-income or minority students in these courses in the hope of preparing them for success in college-level courses.

This rapid expansion of AP courses raises important questions. What are the advantages and disadvantages of courses geared toward the AP exams? How well do AP courses prepare students for college-level work or predict students' success in college? Should colleges award credit for AP courses? Is the AP program a cost-effective tool for closing the gap between students in privileged and struggling communities?

This book examines closely the differences between AP and other high school courses, as well as variations among AP courses. In-depth studies gauge the impact of AP coursework on student performance in college. Finally, researchers examine the use of AP information in college admissions.

Taken together, these studies present a comprehensive picture of the history, impact, and future of the Advanced Placement program.

About the Author

Philip M. Sadler is the F. W. Wright Senior Lecturer in Astronomy at Harvard University and head of the Science Education Department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Gerhard Sonnert is a research associate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and an associate of the Harvard University Physics Department. Robert H. Tai is an associate professor of education at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education. Kristin Klopfenstein is a senior researcher at the University of Texas at Dallas Texas Schools Project, on leave from a faculty position at Texas Christian University.