More Schools Opening Advanced Placement Courses to All Students

Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, October 9, 2013

Alex Wong, a junior at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, is working hard for admission to an elite college. His resume boasts nearly straight A’s in rigorous classes, a summer program experience at Stanford University, an Eagle Scout project, club soccer, school choir.

But his steady progress hit an unexpected roadblock this year. Aiming to open access to college-level Advanced Placement courses, the school switched to a computer-based lottery to distribute spaces. Alex initially got shut out of all three courses he requested.

The new system caused an uproar among families whose children failed to get into AP courses, which many consider critical to develop advanced skills, boost grade-point averages and allow students to earn college credit, saving tuition dollars. They plied administrators with complaints, circulated a petition and launched a Facebook group to swap classes.


Long considered an elite track for the most talented and ambitious students, AP classes are now seen as beneficial for any students willing to push themselves—and schools are increasingly viewing access to them as a basic educational right. But that has come with challenges and controversy.


Miracle Vitangcol, a Downtown Magnets junior with average grades and test scores, is failing her AP U.S. history class; she said she is overwhelmed by the rapid pace and volume of material she needs to memorize. But she said she intends to stick it out because the class is teaching her to manage her time, take good notes and develop perseverance.

“I’m struggling to adjust,” she said. “But I keep telling myself, ‘It’s OK. You can do it. Just push yourself.’ ”

Some critics worry that the open-access movement is pushing too many unprepared students into AP classes, as indicated by higher exam failure rates over the last decade and a persistent achievement gap among races. They also fear that open enrollment policies are prompting teachers to weaken courses and inflate grades.

“While expanding access is generally a good thing, we need to make sure we’re not watering down the experience for the high achievers,” said Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington-based educational policy organization.

But the College Board, which runs the AP program and is encouraging open access, said the effort has generally been successful. Even though national participation has doubled in the last decade to 2.1 million students last year, exam failure rates have increased only slightly, officials said. Passing scores have outpaced failing results by nearly 20% over the last decade.

At the same time, access to AP courses remains uneven. Low-income students are twice as likely as others to attend schools without a full array of AP courses, according to a June study by the Education Trust and Equal Opportunity Schools. Such disparities prompted a 2011 California law that encourages schools to offer AP courses in at least five subjects.


Overall, L.A. Unified has increased AP participation to 17.7% of high school students this year from 12.5% in 2009, when it adopted a districtwide open-enrollment policy. The exam pass rate has stayed about the same, at 40%, although it varies from 62.4% for whites to 25.7% for African Americans.


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  • I’m completely disgusted and … … never mind. The nation has gone stark raving mad.

    • blight14

      On an unrelated note, does ‘New Israel’ HAVE to be in Nevada, how about Tasmania or Malta?

      • If you can’t stand Jews then Tasmania would make sense if you want them to live, or Malta if you want them slaughtered.

        But if you can stand them, and if you would like the Nevada desert to bloom without federal aid other than the one-way tickets and the land grant, Nevada makes sense since nobody else wants it.

        Thanks for reading the site.

        • If it is people you hate, how about the old Nevada test site? The idiots in our military and energy department set off atom bombs underground there, but in the early days of underground tests, they were too lazy to dig very deep, so they set them off in the aquifer, contaminating the ground water for millennia.

      • Tasmania is already full of Australians.

    • Deleted? And deleted? And deleted?… … Er … … Oh well. Michael, we lived in Woodmen Valley from 78 through 00 though we weren’t always in town. Traffic on Academy was bad enough with the Springs at 200,000 people. I can’t imagine what it’s like with today’s 400,000.

  • I think this move has both and bad and good side.

    The bad side is that we know why they did it, to pander to NAMs.

    The good side, unintended by those who made this move, is that high intellect white students will disparately benefit. Because Asians like to cram and cheat their way to good GPAs, while whites generally don’t, white intellect in Asian heavy districts in California is sometimes drowned out by Asian cramming-cheating.

    • William Krapek

      Yes. And that crap is getting really old. Every time I turn around some little minority darling is ripping me off. I smelled a rat with Asians when I was in college back in the 80s. I wish I knew then what I know now. And to think – everybody was using them as a sledgehammer against us. Proof of how lazy we were!

  • Michigan Patriot

    Here we go again ! More anti-American and anti-Asian American racism .

    • me

      “More anti-European American racism.” Fixed it for ya…

  • [Guest]

    Miracle Vitangcol: “I’m struggling to adjust. But I keep telling myself, ‘It’s OK. You can do it. Just push yourself.’”

    Maybe you’re telling yourself lies after having been told them by school administrators and teachers and society in general. Maybe you’re not going to adjust, Miracle, and maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe it’s not OK and you can’t do it, no matter how hard you push yourself.

    Maybe you, like the rest of us, are a bean being manipulated by bean counters.

    >>>…persistent achievement gap among races…

    They persist, in academics and everything else, because they’re real, and they can be wiped away only by sleight of hand.

  • dd121

    Welcome to the Soviet Socialist States of America.

  • JackKrak

    The liberal Lake Wobegon dream – all kids are above average.

    • me

      Lake Wobegon is not ‘diverse’, so the statement is true.

      • William Krapek

        Oh yeah that’s right. They’re all white. 😛

    • Lawrence of Suburbia

      Well, there were still about 38% of whites that didn’t pass. But the pace and amount of material, per se, doesn’t mean that its any different or one has to think or analyze less competently.

  • borogirl54

    This is another attempt at pushing kids who do not have the ability to do college prep work into college prep classes. Many of these students are doomed to failure and qualified students will get denied entry into Advanced Placement classes.

  • ZeitTrash

    A society divorced from merit is a society divorced from fairness. Rejecting merit guarantees injustice as well as mediocrity.

    And that’s today’s America in a nutshell – unjust, mediocre, and dumb. Very similar in some ways to the late-stage Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc.

  • sbuffalonative

    AND WHEN MINORITIES FAIL these advance courses, it will be blamed on all the old scapegoat excuses (racism, institutional racism, not caring about minorities, etc.). Demands will be made for ‘special classes’ which will quickly fill up with minorities and again this will be blamed on whites not making the extra effort to educate the uneducatable.

    This stuff just goes around and around with no end in sight.

    • [Guest]

      That’s true except that the “achievement gap” in education can be closed by lowering standards for everyone and by artificially promoting the least capable.

      Voilà! Gap closed.

      • blight14

        Actually no, the gap will persist, it will just elevate the scores of everyone by lowering the standards….it isn’t possible to close the ‘gap’ if whites/non-whites are subjected to the same test. What they’ll DO at some point is give whitey a different test altogether than the blacks/browns…..presto, ‘equality’…..

        • [Guest]

          That could be, although government-school teachers have engaged in widespread cheating on behalf of that wonderful, marvelous, extra-special dark race, so their scores are already inflated.

          When La’Quane’s mama gets her “My Son Is an Honor Student” sticker, it boosts his already toxically high level of self-esteem, but it doesn’t reflect on his scholastic abilities.

        • Keep Honkin I’m Reloading

          What they will do is simply start grading whitey’s tests “differently”

        • Andy

          It’s possible to close the gap if you make the test easy enough or hard enough. If you give a classroom full of kindergarteners a Calculus test, there’s not going to be a racial gap: everyone will get a zero. If you give a room full of twelfth-graders an alphabet test, there will be no gap because everyone will get a hundred. Under NCLB states slowly made their tests easier or harder (further from the level where they could show what children of a certain age actually knew) in order to make the gaps “close”.

    • 1stworlder

      Maybe they will do like Atlanta did and just change the grades on standardized tests.

  • Spartacus

    “Long considered an elite track for the most talented and ambitious
    students, AP classes are now seen as beneficial for any students willing
    to push themselves—and schools are increasingly viewing access to them
    as a basic educational right.”


    Yeah, that’s a good idea. All kids are geniuses, aren’t they ? If “institutional racism” and “White privilege” don’t put them down …. God, these people are retarded .

  • bigone4u

    “Even though national participation has doubled in the last decade to 2.1 million students last year, exam failure rates have increased only slightly …”
    So, the College Board wants the public that there were a million undiscovered geniuses just waiting to have their ticket punched by AP. And they want us to believe that there are millions more capable of doing AP work. And yet the story features the not-so-miraculous tale of woe of Miracle Vitangcol. Something is fishy here. Has the left side of the Bell Curve been repealed as racist?

    • M&S

      More = More Money. For the same reasons that colleges take huge numbers of foreign students who are willing to pay to play the degree game.
      It’s just ratcheting down grade levels as money gets ever tighter and people need ‘success’ as useful numbers (excellence feels right) to justify sustaining AP at all.
      If AP were all white (Jewish and Asian students attending private academies) it would be proof #1 of ‘racism exists because racist beliefs are true!’.
      The Government of Lysenkoists will not support that.

  • MekongDelta69

    Then ‘advanced‘[sic] placement means nothing.

    Welcome to ‘fairness,’ ‘redistribution,’ and (made-up) ‘equality.’

    • Why is there not a picture of Miracle?

    • Brian

      Maybe they should let her take the AP class in Espanol? Good lord, this lunacy never ends.

  • So CAL Snowman

    Maybe they should start applying this lottery based system to the sports teams as well. I mean it’s really unfair that most of the kids don’t get to play sports, even though we are all equal.

    • Sick of it

      Personally, I’m tired of seeing the bad kids get so much time on the field in sports today. In the past, they would have been motivated to work harder so they could earn their spot.

      • Expecting “afawetes” to keep up their grades in order to retain team eligibility is “racist”, as is insisting that they stay out of trouble with the police.

  • It seems to me that by doing this, the Los Angeles Unified School District is inviting a nice class-action lawsuit by students and their parents. Does this mean the district really has nothing better to do with its budget money than to fight this in court?

  • Yeah, let the SPEDs into AP classes. Great idea ……

    • sbuffalonative

      Minorities think backwards. They believe that being in advance courses makes you smart instead of you get into advance courses BECAUSE you’re smart.

      They think they’re being denied a good education instead of understanding that a good education is beyond their limited IQ.

      Blacks and Hispanics will fail at the same high rates and they will blame the white man’s racist educational system.

      • The Usual Suspects will claim that the unfortunate AP teachers aren’t doing enough for these diversitard students. The black and brown students themselves will do their usual bit and disrupt the classes, making learning impossible for anyone else in them.

        • GeneticsareDestiny

          They’ve been doing it for years in my old school district. All of my AP classes were filled with minorities who were incapable of sitting down and shutting up.

          That’s the part that really irritates me. I don’t care if they don’t do their homework and fail the class. I just wish they’d leave the rest of us in peace and quiet so we could pay attention.

        • The White teachers will be accused of using their racist privilege to hold back aspiring young black scholars (rap “artists”).

      • ms_anthro

        Cargo cult mentality. It’s a primitive way of thinking very common in the Third World and almost unheard of in the First. This is what happens when you let savages take the controls.

        The ones smart enough to know this won’t work aren’t doing it out of some misguided altruism. They’re doing it to destroy our educational system entirely. They are evil and must be brought to justice.

  • je suis paganisme

    I am glad these egalitarian idiots were not around during the Italian Renaissance. Or maybe they were, but sounder minds prevailed.
    But bring on the Chinese students. They are the cream of the crop, come to America. Whites can compete with them any day, unemcumbered by negritude.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      I like the Chinese too, they’re very intelligent and don’t commit much crime.

      But that doesn’t mean we need to turn all white nations into China. The Chinese already have their own country, and quite a large one at that. The people make the nation, and if we import too many of them, white nations will simply become another China.

      As positive as my feelings towards the Chinese are, I’d still rather live in a white nation.

      • “They don’t commit much crime”.

        Technically correct, provided we exclude industrial and military espionage.

  • willbest

    I think this idea is brilliant. After they water down AP classes to accomodate the students taking it, I will be able to move in and sell my Critical Skills US History/English/Calculus, etc. course/test and make billions.

  • Sick of it

    I come from a poor family, but I was in AP classes without a lottery. Perhaps these students should prove they are worth the teacher’s time.

    • AP classes cost money in money in my school, I couldn’t afford them.

      • Sick of it

        You had to pay for a class offered in a public school? That sounds like the basis of a successful lawsuit.

        • Juan Outtamany

          you have to pay to take the test

          • GeneticsareDestiny

            I didn’t have to. Any student who qualifies for free school lunch gets to take it for free.

          • Sick of it

            We did not. And a number of students were put in there because of their proven ability in the subject matter. Chicago really rips people off.

      • AP *tests* cost money in my high school 30 years ago, but since passing these count as college credit, they’re worth it.

  • Andy

    If they’re going to do that, why don’t they just have “AP” classes for all the students who want them? What’s the point in having only the number of fast-paced classes that fits your student population’s abilities if you’re using a lottery to decide which students to put in the fast-paced classes?

  • me

    Yup. And ‘everyone’ is–except if you’re White, by ‘government’ standards. The same standards that are destroying this once-great country.

    • Andy

      Where on earth did that picture come from?

      • T_Losan

        GRIS says it’s from Tanzania

  • Brian

    Her name is Miracle? She better pray for one.

  • bubo

    The US just isn’t a serious nation anymore, it’s just a silly place with a flag and nukes.

    • William Krapek

      And some football teams. Don’t forget the football teams.

    • MBlanc46

      It’s painful to have to say this, but you’re right. Americans stopped worrying about facing reality about forty years ago. No we just meander along in fantasyland dreaming of past greatness. Our delusions are now so powerful that the very idea of the the real world is inconceivable to many of us.

      • We’ve fallen so far, we can no longer measure our descent.

        Social decay is now called progress and overcoming.

        • MBlanc46

          Yep. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

      • FransSusan

        I think you’re right; it may be because all we have left is our fantasies. We can’t face the reality of the moral decay that permeates society. Furthermore, there’s nothing we can do about it. Affirmative action and political correctness are so pervasive and have destroyed civilization all over the world. Blacks are put on a pedestal and if you try to point out the truth you’re denigrated. I don’t feel hopeful about the situation.

    • And lots of dead and disabled White soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Chris Granzow XI

    This is completely ridiculous. What’s next? Putting failing students on the dean’s list? Making a 2.5 student the valedictorian?

    • There are no failing Diversity students. There are only students who can’t achieve because virulent racist White privilege is oppressing their dreams and aspirations.

      • Well, *something* certainly appears to be stifling their aspirations. I’m holding the Edict of Nantes responsible for this; doing so is certainly no sillier than blaming “White privilege”.

  • Juan Outtamany

    The schools are paid bonuses for increasing the AP and advanced classes.
    A bunch of loafing numbskulls in where they don’t belong.


    Well, if the med school level IQ kids were white they would all be branded racist and barred from returning to a college class of any kind. Their seats would then be given to Jamal, Twanquicqua, Tyrone, DeShawn, Latrine and someone with the last name Hernandez just to add a little spice to their newly found multicultural day care center, I mean multicultural school.


    Well it’s quite clear that if 62.4% of the whites passed and just 25.7% of blacks passed. With the over all passing rate being in the middle of those 2 scores at 40%. It’s beyond obvious that the predictably miserable performance of the black intellect has clearly drug the entire class down. Which is apparently a success story in today’s diversity obsessed multicultural society.

    • FransSusan

      I have to wonder if that’s a true score—the 25% of blacks passing. I’d bet it’s not accurate because of grade inflation by teachers and cheating by students. They may have passed on paper but in reality don’t know the material. A teacher would NEVER be allowed to fail too many black students.

  • WR_the_realist

    Just when I think that I’ve seen every idiocy possible perpetrated by our multicultural overlords, along comes something like this.

    • Bobbala

      Nothing is new. Same ol’ lowered standards and blindness to reality.

  • Bobbala

    Doesn’t lowering standard defeat the purpose of advanced learning?

    Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
    — Enoch Powell

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    I took AP U.S. History in high school too. It wasn’t that hard. I slacked the entire year, skipped class, etc. and I still passed the final exam. Most of the white and Asian kids did.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    I took AP classes with lots of blacks in high school and I guarantee you, the classes are being slowed down to a crawl, and it’s still not enough to help the blacks pass.

    There were a few of us white kids who would urge the teacher to go faster each day, because we were going through the material so slowly we were worried we wouldn’t have time to cover everything that was going to be on the final test.

    An AP class with any significant number of blacks becomes less rigorous than a regular level class (and a regular level class with them slows to a special ed pace).

    • Blacks built the pyramids and put the first man on the moon, so any trouble they have with today’s math is obviously my fault.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    You could not pay me enough to teach at a school with these demographics. (This screenshot is from that school’s Greatschools page.)

    • Dreamer demographics are teachable. They are at war on Whiteness, and don’t need to learn how from a book.

  • Ella

    The parents, including your diehard liberals, figured out that the public education system is a failure. So, you now have many students at all levels trying to get into AP courses and Dual Credit classes that are worthy of some type of HS and college credit. These kids who don’t really belong there will fail the course and/or exam.

    • FransSusan

      Too often, the ones that don’t belong there and fail the course/exam are given passing grades anyway. If they’re black.

  • Yale2001

    Yep, we have experienced the same in grade school. There accelerated courses now include several minorities (apparently there was comments made on why none were in last year). Come to find out they are NOT “accelerated” and the rest of the kids are simply made to sit with them and teach them. I pulled my child (heck he is already doing this in the regular classes). We are now pulling time away from kids that CAN learn more to give to those that simply can’t (or generally not as willing to work hard for it). Our public school system is a P.S./propaganda machine. Instead of letting the good ones succeed, we are trying to slow them down so the rest can catch up.

    • If I were sending Ariadne to a public school instead of home-schooling her, I would demand that she be paid if she was expected to work as a teacher’s assistant. I think $20 an hour, with full medical and dental coverage would be reasonable.

      It is not only completely outrageous that bright children are expected to work as unpaid teachers’ assistants, it probably also violates child labor laws.

      • FransSusan

        I whole-heartedly agree! This is depriving students who’re capable of a higher level of learning. They’re being sacrificed for the ones that aren’t capable of learning the advanced material anyway. But that’s the way the moral decay works in the US. Successful, productive middle class people are being sacrificed to the politically correct zeitgeist.

  • John R

    Schools are now opening advanced placement classes to all students? Gee. That’s a good thing. I guess until now, blacks weren’t allowed to be in advanced placement classes, huh? Silly me; I thought advanced placement classes were open to everyone so long as they were qualified.

  • I’ll bet a current AP history class doesn’t even teach what the von Schlieffen Plan or Plan XVII were.

  • Keep Honkin I’m Reloading

    yep, at least the Soviets sought to preserve THEIR culture.

  • Andy

    Depends on the class. I took Calculus and Physics 2 senior year, which were definitely never 6-8 grade subjects. My other AP classes were probably diluted more, but I don’t think that much.

  • Alec Smart

    The point is not to help minorities, but to specifically inflict harm on white children.

    Until we are left impoverished in the own land our forefathers created for us, the elites will never be satisfied.

    And by elites, I very specifically mean the globalist banking jews.

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” Thomas Jefferson

    Once they gain complete control, it will be complete totalitarian fascist rule for everyone – especially the nonwhites which they will ironically have little use for.

  • It’s all about the Process of Power.

    Elites say we must eradicate inequality by sharing fairness with all.

    Then when the experiment causes generalized decline, they will declare an emergency and demand we “do more,” and they get more power while doing whatever “more” they come up with to eradicate the “little” White privilege we have left.

    We have become quite comfortable under the boot heel of tyrants. Proof? You don’t see a revolution, do you?

  • I’m mostly disturbed that the same schools our elites attended don’t have Open Diversity Enrollment.

  • We give Chinese students diplomas so we can say the are qualified to learn our trade and military secrets.

  • Asians hate the blacks more that we do.

    • My wife hates Chinese, but that doesn’t make her right all the time. Mostly she does it because she’s Japanese.

  • Could we combine Affirmative Action and Advanced Placement and call it “AAAP”?

    There could be a special locked room in each school for AAAP students so that the white racism rays shooting out of the heads of other kids couldn’t prevent them from learning. I think bare concrete with floor drains would allow these AAAP rooms to be cleaned easily, by the simple expedient of hosing them down.

  • FransSusan

    It’s already happening—the dumbing-down! Not only that, in the Atlanta, GA, school system (for just ONE example) there were a lot of black teachers cheating on the national tests of basic skills–changing their students’ answers–in order to make it appear as if the school system was doing satisfactory work. The cheating teachers and administrators because of their fake passing test scores received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses from the feds. (Taxpayer money, of course.) It’s a huge scandal. Now it’s costing millions of taxpayer dollars to prosecute these low-lifes and try to fix the school system. The US education system has been destroyed with affirmative action hires and political correctness.

  • FransSusan

    Well, it sounds like a good plan, but will not work because the blacks are NEVER satisfied. They want to ruin everything whitey has—so if you change the courses around they’d then just want in those courses.

    • They don’t seem to like the SEAL courses the US navy runs. Of course nobody does. It is impossible to volunteer to be a SEAL. One is recommended by a superior officer and only then can a fellow make the attempt.

      Blacks are incompetent, and since they are, they are always satisfied. They only feel ashamed when they are forced to watch what whites can do.

      • FransSusan

        How does the SEAL program avoid affirmative action blacks? The usual race hos (NAACP, Al, Jessie, for examples) can’t stand for there to be anything elite that doesn’t have enough blacks in it. The fact that they’re incompetent or incapable never matters.