This school year, a new policy has been implemented for sophomores wishing to take Advanced Placement (AP) World History.
This fall, all sophomores who had not registered for AP European History were automatically placed into AP World History, also known as Global Studies III. Sophomores must achieve at least a 91 overall average by the third marking period of their first term to remain in the course. Those who do not fulfill this requirement will automatically be registered for second term of Global Studies IV, or non-AP World History.
In September, all sophomores were given a handout from Assistant Principal Social Studies Jennifer Suri. “All Sophomore students not enrolled in Advanced Placement European History will be enrolled in Global Studies III for the fall 2008 semester,” Suri said in the handout. “The advance placement designation will not appear on the transcript for the fall term; however, the course is an AP course.”
Some students support this policy. “It’s completely fair,” sophomore Kelvin Lin said. “It works out nicely because if you didn’t do well during Global in freshman year, you’re given another chance to get into the AP. However, if you don’t work hard enough the second time around, then you don’t deserve to be in AP [World History].”
This policy is a change from last year’s policy, which placed all sophomores not taking AP European History in the AP World History course for the fall term as well as the spring term, regardless of the grades he or she received. Acceptance into AP European History was based on students’ freshman Global History averages and teacher recommendations. The cut-off grade for AP European History last year was a 94.
Some students oppose the new policy. Sophomore Matthew Boccio said, “91 is too high of a cutoff. It should be lowered into the mid-80.”
Sophomore Ali Afzal said, “The policy is not completely fair. If a teacher is easy and gives out high grades, then students in his or her class will be placed into AP World. However, students in a hard grading teacher will have less of a chance to get in.”
For the most part, however, most people the policy. Freshman Jeffrey Tseng said, “The policy is great because it distinguishes between the hardworking students and the lazy ones.”
Social Studies teacher Joel Sklaroff supports this policy change. “[This policy] is working out okay. Everyone is given a better opportunity to participate in the AP program,” Sklaroff said.
Other teachers agree. AP World History teacher Muriel Olivi said, “Students now actually have to work hard in class, so I think the policy is a good one.”