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The Boston Globe



Letters to the editor

Globe Magazine readers respond to stories about Advanced Placement classes and iPads in the classroom.


Linda K. Wertheimer’s “The Problem of AP Overload” (October 7) focuses on pressured students who take too many Advanced Placement courses. But these courses are problematic in their own right, a product of the tendency to confuse harder with better. The point of AP courses isn’t to help students think deeply and excitedly about questions that matter; it’s to prepare them for a test. That means the curriculum is largely shaped by the College Board, not by teachers — let alone by students. The courses tend to be lecture-driven and textbook-based, more about covering (a vast array of facts) than about discovering. No wonder many public and private high schools across the country have eliminated AP courses. Their goal in doing so isn’t just to reduce stress but to improve the quality of learning.

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