Are We Offering Enough AP Courses in Toledo?

In the article,, this was reported on today. I have to wonder what this has to do with

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I've been hearing some discussion on the board about customer service and marketing the district to compete for students, but we aren't.

AP classes would fix that problem in a hurry. Very few suburban schools offer the classes. We'd be ahead.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I think it more about competition than the NCLB. People do measure what is taught in the schools when they decide to choose where to live and if Toledo is not matching up to the suburbs, we have a problem. Even before this Harner issue of the lack of rigorous academics in TPS came up, I announced my number one priority was academics. I want to focus in on implementing a more rigorous curriculum and providing advance options for the students who wish to take them, such as more business courses. We must have high expectations for our students, which also means we must have the advance courses to filter these students into as they start meeting these high expectations.

The growing trend is towards Post Secondary Op because that gives the student who is advanced not only a higher level of education but college credits as well. One of mine took advantage of the advanced placement classes that Springfield had, yet she still had to take an additional test and if scored high enough bypassed having to take required college courses. With Post Secondary Option, they not only earn high school credits but college credits.

Two of mine participated in the Post Secondary Option program and realistically got more out of it than the one who took the Advanced Placement classes. It's all about what the demand is and meeting the needs of what the students want, then the great thing about the Post Secondary option program is it does not cost the district additional funds. The state reimburses the school district for the cost of the tuition and the books if the student achieves the required grade. If they don't? The parents are billed for cost of the classes.

However, if it is stated as it has been to me that TPS students when entering college need remedial classes and are behind their suburban peers, the focus should be on correcting that first since that affects more students than the smaller numbers that take the AP classes. Even where AP classes are offered the numbers show that not many students take advantage of it because it is harder, and the benefits are not as immediate as the Post Secondary Option.

I understand the desire to make it appear as TPS offers what the suburbs do, yet I really believe with the Post Secondary Op it frees up more resources and money than trying to increase Advanced Placement courses that have been historically under utilized in Toledo and in the burbs.

We don't remember days only moments...


When I was in HS I took both AP and postsecondary courses. Actually I remember they were both very similar. The difference was for the AP class (as you say) I took an exam at the end of the class, if I got a good score, I could earn college credit. The postsecondary course, well it was college credit all along. There was a difference of being able to be with peers with the AP course. The postsecondary course was a little intimidating since I was the youngest in the class. Regardless, I think there is room for a balance for both types.

Yes, making sure we prepare all students so there is not as much remedial classes when they move on to the next level is very important. We also need to provide as many academic options as possible for students to choose who want to go above and beyond the normal curriculum.

The actual program that Bill Harner's daughter is enrolled in is "The International Baccalaureate Program"

Their mission statement:

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is more than its three educational programmes. At our heart we are motivated by a mission to create a better world through education.

We value our hard-earned reputation for quality, for high standards and for pedagogical leadership. We achieve our goals by working with partners and by actively involving our stakeholders, particularly teachers.

Honk - honk - hello??!!!

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Got my vote!

When you said she had to take an additional test, do you mean the AP Test (score 1 to 5) or do you mean, like, a placement exam at the university?

Just curious..

Post secondary Op is not for everyone, one of mine discovered she wasn't quite ready for college level classes the first time around. Yet in the end it was a valuable learning experience for her. From my experience, AP classes are more grueling, at least they were at Springfield which is why many students don't take them. If they are concerned about their GPA, the 4.0 in a regular class is preferable to the 5.0 given that 5.0 is much harder to earn if the school even does that as a system. Some still use the 4.0 system even with AP Classes which is another factor. I don't know what TPS uses.

It just seems that we have more to deal with than worrying about from a PR perspective that we aren't offering enough AP classes. I'm not sure how many students are expressing an interest in these classes to know if this is something that needs to be a large issue. Harner or no Harner we don't have the international baacalaurate program his daughter was taking anyway and realistically even if we did? Given his statements on not wanting his daughter to be treated as he experienced with his son I still don't think he would have had his daughter attend TPS.

I just believe the focus should be on making it so our high schoolers as a whole don't need the remedial help when they hit college as has been stated. Focusing on the larger numbers first unless there is a huge number of students out there demanding AP classes that are not being listened to seems to me to be the best way to affect a better outcome for more students.

We don't remember days only moments...

Yes! I totally agree. I'm more concerned with the numbers of children that are identified as gifted but don't get any type of enrichment program than I am with the lack of AP classes given they do have options such as Post Secondary Op. The easiest way to make a gifted child become bored and less enthused about learning is to not offer them something more.

Only 400 students out of 3,332 that are identified as gifted having access to the Horizon program is very troubling to me. That demonstrates we have close to 3,000 children who are not getting the services that they should.

We don't remember days only moments...

The district is NOT in competition for students. Its administration gives every indication that they expect students to magically return (noting full well the "wish list" of certain Board members as reported by the Blade).

There are two major factors operating here, and correct me if I'm wrong:

1. Lazy Levy. The district can just issue another levy to make up for state/fed money. Toledo voters are still too dumb or scared to vote down a properly-invoked fear levy.

2. Strickland. To the applause of the education lobby, the Governor is very anti-alternative education and intends to shut down the voucher program. That creates pressure for students to remain in public-school systems. I'm sure the TPS administration keeps abreast of current events, so their expectations have been properly set.

There is a strong yet faulty meme in our society that supports a public-ed system by default. I say that it's "faulty" since it is highly resistant to admitting the wholesale failure of the same systems. Results are not used to measure performance; instead, existence is used to determine merit. In short, the meme says we're supposed to support the public schools no matter what.

Competition in such a system and philosophy is essentially demonized and is hardly up for discussion. Discussion produces proposals for change, and the system and memes specifically demand that NOTHING changes. If change comes, it will only be accepted in the form of Sanders-esque propaganda that self-serves the purposes of the public-ed system. It's always cheaper and easier to issue proclamations of intent, and assurances of education, than to actually provide and achieve it.

We see this now when we hear vocal teachers on blogs stating that they are NOT responsible for their students. That's a basic statement and it doesn't get any simpler of a problem than that. Without linking an evaluation of output upon the inputs, any production line goes awry. Who really wants to buy fucked-up products out of such factories? Why then are we so accepting of similarly faulty production from public schools?

Chris, I am finding this thread very interesting. I am learning quite a bit. I know you are running for school board, and The Toledo Blade has recommended that the whole board be voted out (although I appreciate Darlene Fisher

Old South End Broadway

She took both - the 1-5 which cost $75.00 per test and if don't do well you don't get the credit - and she still had to take the placement test at UT for some of the classes.

She feels the AP classes were worth it because it was based on a 5.0 system and they were harder than college classes. Since she did well on all of her 1-5 for her the placement tests were a breeze for Chemistry and Calculus and there was no placement for US history that was based on her 1-5 same with Biology that used the 1-5. Her concern with the Post Secondary Op is those who try to take too many college classes and miss out on the "high school experience". She's my one who was Springfield's Salutatorian, but she also stated not that many of her peers took the AP classes because they knew they would be harder.

I called her to ask so I'd be sure I was correct since she's in her senior year in college right now.


We don't remember days only moments...

Teachers who have the ability to utilize the vast numbers of resources out there on the net for their students actually give them the gift of knowing that the net is for more than just entertainment.

I'm a knowledge/searching geek, and my children have inherited that love of seeking out information from me. My 12 year old is very experienced in the world of "googling" and uses it to learn more on topics from music to vegetarianism to so much more than just using her MySpace IM to chat with friends and to listen to music or play games.

I'd love to see a scenario where every student had a laptop, even one that was similar to the A laptop for every child program that is being developed for developing nations. I think something like this would benefit our students as well. Technology is only going to increase in it's importance to our future and the better equipped our children are the better chance they have to succeed.

We don't remember days only moments...

1. I can't speak for the other candidates. I am familiar with some, but I won't speak for them. I would judge a candidate on if they understand the current district situation and see what they will do to either fix the problems or replicate the successes. I think if you watch as November marches closer and closer, you will see two types of candidates emerge: 1. the more traditional candidates that TPS board elections have seen over and over 2. the candidates that understand the issues and work on the successes/challenges. I bet/hope there will be plenty of opportunities to ask the candidates questions and I hope to see you out there at these forums and debates. The Toledo Public School Board election will be the biggest race this year, so keep watching it and keep involved.

My history is out there a bit more for everyone to see, so people know where I am coming from. There are pockets of success, but there are many areas with challenges. For the district to be successful they need to address the challenges and they need to nurture or replicate the successes. Only working on one or the other won't cut it. They both need to be dealt with.

2. My background is education technology. I earned a Master's in edtech from UT. Wireless computing has the potential to be very powerful, but you can't just give kids computers and expect them to be productive with it. The courses and curriculum must be clear so that when they use the computer, they use computers to accomplish a task.

Should wireless laptops be brought into the elementary and secondary schools? In a perfect world they should be spread out to all levels of the district. But in order for any technology to be effective you need to be sure the teacher has the proper training to use it and takes the proper approach to implement them in class so that the students actually use them. Just tossing technology into the classroom won't improve learning. There are some legitimate implementation problems that need to be addressed first. Does this mean no? No it does not. This means maybe the district should pursue some wireless laptop classrooms for the teachers and classes that are ready for it. Of course, there will be problems with finding money in the budget, so the district should look to outside support through grants or sponsorships. It will be tough but not impossible. Regardless it should be a district goal to work harder to implement more technology and be sure the teachers have the skills/training/support to effectively use it in their classes.

Great idea...

This is also were the free wireless service Toledo has proposed would be great. A computer isn't enough, being able to use the Internet will be just as important.

I can't image a how much disadvantage a kid must be at not having a computer at home.

I live near the South Branch (on Broadway Ave.) of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. When I went to borrow a couple of DVDs I looked around, and saw that not all the computers seemed to be in use. This was around 7:00 PM. I told the librarian this was the first time that I had seen them not all being used, and if they have enough. She said that they had them reserved until 7:40 PM so far tonight, that they could use more, and that she didn

Old South End Broadway

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