Jump to content

Menu

When Did High School Become Jr. College?


Recommended Posts

I am showing my age, but back in my day, high school was, well, high school.  You took a series of classes for 4 years, graduated, and  THEN you went to college. Dual enrollment was rare, and AP classes were for the gifted and talented, not the general population.  I recall the privilege reserved primarily seniors in the top 20% of the class. You had to apply with the grades to back it up. Yet, on this board and at the public high school my son will be a freshman next year, the expectation is to start college coursework earlier and earlier. For example, my son can take AP Human Geography as a Freshman with no admission requirements other than a willingness to work hard. He hasn't even started high school yet and they are willing to sign up for college level work on his say so? To what advantage? I don't get it. If you graduate high school with an associates degree or pretty close to it, what is the point of high school? Is high school too long these days? Should it only be two years?  And for some students, college is NOT the goal. What about them? I guess many dual enroll to save tuition in college, but I think it puts undue stress on some kids. College level work should be saved for, well, college!

 

 I remember the saying that "college is the new high school".  I thought then it meant that to succeed in today's world a college degree is necessary. I think it has now morphed into college replacing high school with this jumping from middle school to college level work. What is the place of high school in today's educational strata?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 111
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I'll comment our reasoning.

 

Ds was ready, plain & simple for college level work. Particularly in his area of interest- computer science. He's been doing college level stuff teaching himself for awhile now.

 

As for the other college classes he's taking during his senior year of high school-

Chemistry, he could've done a homeschool high school level class online, but we live within walking distance of the community college with its lab.

Foreign language- at the CC, better than trying to teach this myself.

English- again, ready for the work (even I took this as AP 30 years ago)

 

In our state, we can't go part time at the public school& we wanted outside teachers to work with him, him to learn accountability to someone other than me, & to get teachers to use as recommendation writers plus grades to verify my mom grades.

I have littles at home &'can't teach him all day.

 

In my days, Ds would've just graduated a year early, I suppose.

 

But not all kids are ready, I agree. My dd won't be doing college in high school.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting an associates degree with a high school diploma is a way to help students save money in some public school districts. My car mechanic daughter is graduating with an associate degree as well as a high school diploma from her public high school. So she can apply as a freshman or as a transfer or work/take a gap year and apply later. At least she would have an associate degree in hand for free when she graduate high school. It is a good financial help for her parents saving them two years of college costs if she choose to transfer to whatever she could transfer to.

 

My kid's public school teacher for 2011 explained junior college to us. She was in her late 20s and it was an option when she was in high school. So not a new concept.

 

My district has a DE program where kids attend classes at the affiliated community college for 10th and 11th grade.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only kids I know who DE are homeschoolers. I attribute their DE interest and aptitude to homeschooling.

 

My older kids all graduated from ps.  One of them did DE full time in his junior and senior year and graduated with over 60 credits (he hated public school).  It was a wonderful opportunity for him. His twin brother loved ps, but did a combination of AP and DE courses and also graduated with a lot of college credits, but not as many as his brother.  

 

My dd started DE last year as a rising freshman.  We are starting slow (she took foreign language classes, which she loved and already knew the material), but she really enjoys it so far.  She went to ps through 7th grade and hated it at the end, but loves being at the community college.

 

I certainly don't think DE is for everyone, but it's a good fit for many students.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

When high school standards got watered down to increase graduation rates.

And "college" standards got watered down.

 

Not as much a problem at more selective four year colleges/universities, but I wonder if the level of CC classes and intro level classes at four year state universities dipped after vocational ed. classes were largely eliminated in favor of pushing more students towards "college" of some sort. I keep hearing about the need for all these remedial classes at four year schools and wonder how students managed to get in if so much remediation is needed to bring them up to true college level.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I took as much DE as I could in high school in the mid 90s. This allowed me to graduate a semester early with a very reasonable load in college. I was ready, top ranked, and frequently bored in my classes. I intend to utilized DE courses as makes sense for my kids. So far they seem advanced enough that they will be able to handle at least some courses in high school. I may try to help them graduate with an associates, especially if they are interested in a career that will require graduate work. I am likely to use them for lab sciences and foreign language, two things that harder for me to teach. I might be able to let my kids take intro courses in specific careers. I definitely want my kids to have practice dealing with another teacher in an academic class before arriving in college. For that outsourcing, community college is cheaper than some of the courses designed for high school.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For example, my son can take AP Human Geography as a Freshman with no admission requirements other than a willingness to work hard. He hasn't even started high school yet and they are willing to sign up for college level work on his say so?

 

In my opinion, not all AP classes are truly college level classes.  Many of these AP classes are what used to be considered honors level high school classes.

 

This.

 

In particular, AP Human Geography has a reputation for being one of the easier AP courses.  There may be reasons for kids to take it (e.g., if they're interested in the subject, if they're trying for the AP scholar designation, or if a certain score on the AP exam might fulfill some sort of core requirement at a college they might attend).  But generally, it may not add much value for selective college admissions or for selective college credit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And "college" standards got watered down.

 

Not as much a problem at more selective four year colleges/universities, but I wonder if the level of CC classes and intro level classes at four year state universities dipped after vocational ed. classes were largely eliminated in favor of pushing more students towards "college" of some sort. I keep hearing about the need for all these remedial classes at four year schools and wonder how students managed to get in if so much remediation is needed to bring them up to true college level.

This is what I'm seeing as well. It's eye opening.
Link to post
Share on other sites

College tuition used to be a LOT less expensive. Stanford was ~$25k/year when I started and UC Berkeley was $4500/year. Today Stanford is ~$60k/year and UC Berkeley is $14k/year. So more and more families are needing to save money by using AP and DE credits to shorten the time to degree.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, not all AP classes are truly college level classes.  Many of these AP classes are what used to be considered honors level high school classes.

 

The other issue with AP is that even if the material is at the college level (and what is college level vs high school level is fluid in many instances), the delivery model is quite different.  The pace is frequently slower (AP Calculus AB is a one semester course spread over two semesters, for example).  There are more little assignments instead of just a few tests or papers.  And students take 6-7 courses at a time rather than only 3-4.  All that adds up to being both easier and harder than college.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have really liked utilizing de for my kids. It started just as a way to outsource subjects I couldn't deal with any other way but we have come to use it more and more. It is cost effective for us and my kids like the independence.

 

What I find interesting is that the local high schools let their kids come and go all day to take de at the local cc and university. In this case it seems to be a way for schools to not offer advanced or quality upper level classes. I don't think that is a great situation. I think high schoolers are generally well served by high quality courses offered in a high school setting. I don't think failing to offer AP English because the kids can take Comp 1 at the cc is really a great situation. I like de to address certain situations but not a replacement for high school.

 

When I do my "homeschooling high school" talk each year to our support group I try hard to remind people that middle school doesn't have to be high school and high school doesn't have to be college. It always seems that much of the discussion is how to count high school credits in middle school and dual enrollment. I support those options for some kids but I feel bad that seems to be the biggest concern.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides what others have said, sometimes homeschooling allows students to work at their level/speed of learning and they may be doing high school level courses in middle school then are ready for college level courses in high school. DE allows them to learn at the "next level" while also allowing them to obtain some college credits at a discounted (some states free) rate.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides what others have said, sometimes homeschooling allows students to work at their level/speed of learning and they may be doing high school level courses in middle school then are ready for college level courses in high school. DE allows them to learn at the "next level" while also allowing them to obtain some college credits at a discounted (some states free) rate.

I'm quoting this post because it's the last one, but I'm answering to the idea in it that's also been in a bunch of posts.

 

I have the same question the OP has: When did all these high school students suddenly become ready for college level classes, whether by AP or DE? High school ought to be challenging all but a tiny percentage of students. And now every other student is AP or in DE classes. Has it really been all along from the 1940s until 2000 that a huge percentage of high school students were sitting there unchallenged?

 

I don't think so. I think the answer might be when things were dumbed down somewhere in the last 20 years or so. I think the finish line has been moved so that it's easier to get to. That seems to be what other people have responded and that makes better sense.

 

Or else all the non-stop writing they have students do starting in 1st really is making a difference and the kids are smarter now. Could be...?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did APs and DE in the 80's in DC. It's the number of AP and DE classes that are taken that have changed. My senior year I took two AP classes, regular French 3, government ( I semester) at my high school and a class at George Washinton U each semester--so 3 classes and one college class basically. Not 2 DE classes a semester plus 3 or 4 APs. And that got me into a top 25 LAC.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was a freshman in high school I took AP Calculus because it was the only calculus offered at my school... but I wasn't allowed to take the exam, only Juniors and Seniors were allowed to take the exam.

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

What I find interesting is that the local high schools let their kids come and go all day to take de at the local cc and university. In this case it seems to be a way for schools to not offer advanced or quality upper level classes. I don't think that is a great situation. I think high schoolers are generally well served by high quality courses offered in a high school setting. I don't think failing to offer AP English because the kids can take Comp 1 at the cc is really a great situation. I like de to address certain situations but not a replacement for high school.

 

 

 

That is definitely not the case here.  Our ps does not want students taking DE classes off campus because they have to pay for tuition/funding.  Also, school ratings are partially based on the number of students taking AP classes and tests, and passing those tests.  PS students taking DE courses hurt the district's finances.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is definitely not the case here. Our ps does not want students taking DE classes off campus because they have to pay for tuition/funding. Also, school ratings are partially based on the number of students taking AP classes and tests, and passing those tests. PS students taking DE courses hurt the district's finances.

We have state grant for de so I guess it is a great deal for the schools.

 

The Catholic high school allows seniors to take de either first period or as a night class. They also offer a full slate of AP. I like that kids have the option of de if it makes sense for them without disrupting the regular high school schedule too much.

 

Sorry...OP. That is off topic from the intent of your question.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to school at Baylor from 1996-2000.

 

In 1980, tuition cost about $70/hr. In 1992, tuition cost $200/hr.

 

By 1996, tuition was $269/hr. I graduated four years later, paying $329/hr, and was grateful I was getting out when I did, because the rates were jumping to $355/hr the next year. I want to say a semester, including room and board and fees, ran about $12k/year during my time there. 

 

At some point, they hit an "unlimited hours for a flat rate" package, lumping room, board, fees, hours, and everything together, for about $40k/year as of 2016. 

 

When I was shopping for a school, a year at a 4-year state university, like Texas A&M or UT Austin, was closer to $8k/year for in-state. Nowadays, it runs about $25-$30k/year for in-state. In other words, private and public tuition both have pretty much tripled over the last 16 years. When I took 8 hours of chemistry as a high school homeschooler, and 8 hours of Spanish as a college student, it ran me about $80/hr at the local community college in a summer session. And I was grateful to save myself a full semester's worth of tough classes at the less vigorous school, and at the cheap rate! (I know kids who had had 4 years of Spanish in high school who were flunking out of Baylor's Spanish I in the first three weeks of class.) 

 

So, while $100 in 1980 dollars has the purchasing power of $300 in 2017 dollars, and $100 in 1996 dollars have the purchasing power of about $150 in 2017 dollars, people's paychecks haven't tripled along with tuition rates. Schools have been having 7%, 8% annual increases year after year after year, and admissions still kept on rising. Student loans were easy to get, and couldn't be discharged in bankruptcy. And schools are always in a cycle of building, attracting new students to fill those buildings, and then building bigger buildings yet again. And people often go to school during times of economic hardship, to make them stand out from the rest of the population... but nowadays, the same proportion of people have an undergraduate degree that had a high school diploma around WWII. 

 

So I can definitely see the practical attraction in (a) making classes serve double-duty as high school credit + college credit, and (b) they're presumably taken at a lower-tier school and will be transferred to a more prestigious school, © taking pre-requisites ahead of time frees up valuable semester hours so students can focus on their major-related classes, and (d) the student can graduate sooner.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that middle school is the new elementary school and the first two years of high school are the new middle school, therefore the last two years of high school are the first two years of college.

 

Or something like that...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would tie the beginning of high-pressure high school to the 80's and "A Nation at Risk."

 

Watered down standards came later with "No Child Left Behind." If you didn't pass standards, you lost your funding. So, standards had to be low enough to keep (most of) the money coming.

 

Common Core was supposed to be swinging back in the other direction - tougher than the watered down standards, and consistent so that one state could be fairly compared to another. But well, that promise has not really worked out...

 

I think the DE and AP became an arms race in the Information Age. With a wider amount of college data-- US News of course, and the internet in general-- more kids are trying for highly selective schools that they wouldn't have heard of otherwise and want to take the "most rigorous" coursework because that's one of the check boxes on the application.

 

Parents who were used to seeing their kids' schools graded and ranked by No Child Left Behind extended that to finding the highest ranking colleges. Given the price tags, parents want to make sure their tuition investment is going to "the best" college possible, so they push their kids to compete. Finally, economic recessions increase the competitive pressure because we can see the winners in their Teslas and the losers pan-handling in the grocery store parking lot.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I attended high school it was not challenging in the least. I only took one AP class. I think only three were available at my school. I did get a 5 on the test but only because I was interested in the subject. My 4th grader knows as much history as I knew in high school.

 

One of the many reasons I decided to homeschool was because I don't understand a system that has to push and rush kindergarten students and spend so much time on pep rallies and dumbed down classes in high school. High school was pure boredom and easy to get straight A's.

 

What I think is happening locally is those who are in public school just go along with the general curriculum and end up needing remedial classes in college (our state University has made official complaints to the public schools up here about this) or you are someone who looks ahead at college admissions and the crazy costs and start stressing about how you will pay or get in and start taking more advanced classes. Sometimes if they hear too many stories of not getting into college or not being able to pay or not get good jobs they start stressing and go overboard.

 

I'm sure many here on the forums that teach a good but solid high school class for various subjects but depending on your local school district those solid regular high school classes may not exist.

 

My son is doing dual enrollment but only for his strengths. We are doing regular old high school classes for English, history, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no more tracking (which there used to be, as my older friends tell me).The level of high school is dumbed down, and many kids need more of a challenge because schools offer a one-size-fits all model. 

Much of high school material can be learned by an intelligent middle schooler.

And a lot of college classes can be easily taken by a prepared high schooler.

For example, College Physics for life science majors is an appropriate level for 9 or 10th graders with strong algebra skills and comparable to that grade level class I had back home in public school. My 8th grader found it easy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I graduated early from high school, my older kids all graduated from public high school as approximately college sophomores. My last kiddo, however is interested in at least one highly ranked small college that has restrictions stating that if a student has carried a full college load any semester as a high school student, they must be admitted as a transfer student, not a freshman.

 

I suspect more high tier schools will go to this.

 

They do have a policy of allowing students to work with the departments to test into higher level courses if they've self-studied and do seem to count APs separately.

 

She'll do some DE and maybe some APs, but we're not going to keep below that full-time marker.

 

Our small, local high school has 3 students graduating who are also college Juniors right now. It's just how they deal with anyone who isn't a basic student. In fact, they've remained on the block schedule to better accommodate this. I think AP English is the only AP they offer.

 

If my dd was interested in something like medicine, though, I would have no qualms about having her finish her undergraduate ASAP.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no more tracking (which there used to be, as my older friends tell me).The level of high school is dumbed down, and many kids need more of a challenge because schools offer a one-size-fits all model. 

Much of high school material can be learned by an intelligent middle schooler.

And a lot of college classes can be easily taken by a prepared high schooler.

For example, College Physics for life science majors is an appropriate level for 9 or 10th graders with strong algebra skills and comparable to that grade level class I had back home in public school. My 8th grader found it easy.

 

This is what is driving it for us.  DS15 is utterly miserably in the "honors" track in public HS, and struggling for purchase on an adequately challenging course load for next year.  It isn't that the school doesn't offer good subjects - it's that the content is watered down, tests are pitiful (what the heck is the point of a group test!?!?!?), and his grades are in jeopardy of slipping from disengaging from class.

 

So directional U, here we come.

Link to post
Share on other sites

at least one highly ranked small college that has restrictions stating that if a student has carried a full college load any semester as a high school student, they must be admitted as a transfer student, not a freshman.

 

Would you mind sharing which school this was?  I don't know if it will change our course of action, but it would be nice to understand any coming trends.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a homeschooler the reasoning is completely different, but for regular high school around where I live the only DE stuff they offer is anything the school does not have (advanced courses, special interest courses, etc.).  And the courses are taught at the school.  Also, the emphasis is much more heavily skewed towards remedial, special needs, etc. where I am so those who need more advanced coursework would need to seek it elsewhere.  Classes are no longer tracked so they don't suit all levels. They are a one size fits all which doesn't fit all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am showing my age, but back in my day, high school was, well, high school.  You took a series of classes for 4 years, graduated, and  THEN you went to college. Dual enrollment was rare, and AP classes were for the gifted and talented, not the general population. 

 

I'm not sure when you went to high school, but it sure is "interesting" every now and then when someone shares an older test vs a newer test and we can see the comparison in content and expectations.  The bar has certainly been lowered.  Not everyone needs or wants lower.

 

In my opinion, not all AP classes are truly college level classes.  Many of these AP classes are what used to be considered honors level high school classes.

 

Many upper level colleges consider them the same way - expectations to have before coming to college - not replacements for college courses, esp for majors in that subject.  (Ditto for DE.)

 

There is no more tracking (which there used to be, as my older friends tell me).The level of high school is dumbed down, and many kids need more of a challenge because schools offer a one-size-fits all model. 

Much of high school material can be learned by an intelligent middle schooler.

And a lot of college classes can be easily taken by a prepared high schooler.

For example, College Physics for life science majors is an appropriate level for 9 or 10th graders with strong algebra skills and comparable to that grade level class I had back home in public school. My 8th grader found it easy.

 

:iagree:   Pick the class level content that fits the student.  Students who can do more shouldn't be held back just because high school classes got redefined with the bar lower.  Teens have growing, maturing brains created to take in new info quickly.  It's often good to challenge them if they're ready for it.  If they aren't ready, then don't.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In theory, I'm against replacing high school with college.  BUT, I agree with Garga in that a lot of today's "college" is more high school level.

 

My daughter took her first DE the summer before 9th grade.  I signed her up because it was genuinely designed for 14-18yos, was in an area of high interest for her, and was WAY less expensive than our community college offerings, so I wanted to take advantage of that.  She also had several friends taking the class.  She and her younger sister (so, rising 10th and 9th) will probably take this summer's class, too.

 

We have a lot of AP and CLEP study guides in our house, and dd studied Environmental Science and Human Geography this past year.  She was not at AP level, so I didn't have her take the tests, and that's fine by me.  She knows her options, I keep an eye out for opportunities, and we go with what works at the time.  I won't push her (or subsequent kids) for college credit, but we'll snatch it up if it's attainable.  It's not really about college admissions for me. Neither of my daughters are interested in competitive admissions.  They're VERY likely to do 2 year degrees or certifications.  I just want them to be academically challenged where they are, whether that's AP English or remedial math.

 

My oldest did, in fact, skip the last two years of (public) high school, and went straight to enrolling as a community college student as soon as he turned 16.  While I think he could have benefited from junior and senior year content and more time learning to manage his studies, he still found cc gen ed classes to be frustratingly simple and can't wait to be done with them.  He does happen to be quite gifted, but I've seen some of his assignments, and they're on par with some of the expectations of our homeschool high school curricula!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you mind sharing which school this was?  I don't know if it will change our course of action, but it would be nice to understand any coming trends.

 

 

Perhaps Princeton?  Only in 2018 are they even starting to allow transfer students - period.

 

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/02/03/princeton-university-will-resume-transfer-admissions-first-time-1990

Link to post
Share on other sites

My oldest did, in fact, skip the last two years of (public) high school, and went straight to enrolling as a community college student as soon as he turned 16.  While I think he could have benefited from junior and senior year content and more time learning to manage his studies, he still found cc gen ed classes to be frustratingly simple and can't wait to be done with them.  He does happen to be quite gifted, but I've seen some of his assignments, and they're on par with some of the expectations of our homeschool high school curricula!

 

This is what I've found too.  I had my guys do a few CC courses as DE in high school in order to get outside confirmation of grades, but some of the courses were definitely less than what I expected and less than their freshman year counterpart courses at their 4 year schools.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only kids I know who DE are homeschoolers. I attribute their DE interest and aptitude to homeschooling.

 

Georgia has Move On When Ready for 9th-12th grades. It covers fees, tuition, and books. If the books cost more than the allowed amount, the schools have to waive the difference. The schools come to the classrooms recruiting students. 

 

My dh teaches at a public high school in the same town as a four year college that is part of our state university system. More and more students are taking classes there. Some students don't come to the high school at all but are enrolled and will graduate from the high school.

 

So really, the state is paying double for these kids. It's only good students who have their own cars, too, because the school doesn't provide transportation and the students have to be accepted at the college. Dh said it's really changing the atmosphere of the school. With the brightest students gone all day, it's skewing the balance of behaviors and aptitude in the classroom. 

 

The school goes to block scheduling next year, and dh thinks dual enrollment is why. So, it's definitely affecting more than just homeschoolers in GA. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you mind sharing which school this was? I don't know if it will change our course of action, but it would be nice to understand any coming trends.

 

I'm also wondering this. Everything I've read states you can take as many courses as you want so long as you do so as an unmatriculated student.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you mind sharing which school this was?  I don't know if it will change our course of action, but it would be nice to understand any coming trends.

 

 

Rose Hulman. I tried to re-find it on their website and can't locate it right now, but it wasn't in an obvious spot when I saw it before. They also do not accept any transfer credits for online courses, although I suppose a student could place into a higher course by examination.

 

ETA: there is this, but I KNOW I saw a number of allowed credits. At any rate, I don't think we'll do more than 11 credits any semester, which is plenty for high school anyway. If dd goes into a STEM field, a bunch of humanities credits wouldn't have anywhere to transfer to anyhow since they aren't required for most of those majors.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I attended high school it was not challenging in the least. I only took one AP class. I think only three were available at my school. I did get a 5 on the test but only because I was interested in the subject. My 4th grader knows as much history as I knew in high school.

 

One of the many reasons I decided to homeschool was because I don't understand a system that has to push and rush kindergarten students and spend so much time on pep rallies and dumbed down classes in high school. High school was pure boredom and easy to get straight A's.

 

What I think is happening locally is those who are in public school just go along with the general curriculum and end up needing remedial classes in college (our state University has made official complaints to the public schools up here about this) or you are someone who looks ahead at college admissions and the crazy costs and start stressing about how you will pay or get in and start taking more advanced classes. Sometimes if they hear too many stories of not getting into college or not being able to pay or not get good jobs they start stressing and go overboard.

 

I'm sure many here on the forums that teach a good but solid high school class for various subjects but depending on your local school district those solid regular high school classes may not exist.

 

My son is doing dual enrollment but only for his strengths. We are doing regular old high school classes for English, history, etc.

 

This exactly.

 

When I was in high school, I was not challenged at all. I took the most difficult classes offered in every subject and graduated at the top of my class without ever having studied. I did my homework in front of the TV.  When I got to college in the honors program, I started hearing about these things called AP that other students had been able to take and I was angry my school did not offer these more challenging courses (and that I had not had the opportunity to take them to earn college credit).

 

One reason I decided to homeschool was to challenge my children at whatever level they needed. Why not allow my high schooler to obtain credit for her work at the same time? I feel like a college isn't going to know how challenging the course I created is (unless they are willing to look at a portfolio which takes a lot of time) but if she takes the AP test then they do understand my student's level of learning because they can now judge it compared to other students taking the same course.

 

Maybe there are just more schools offering dual enrollment and AP classes and that being the case, maybe, now to be competitive candidates for top colleges/scholarships at college, students are taking advantage of the offerings either because they want/need the challenge or because parents want them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 I wonder if the level of CC classes and intro level classes at four year state universities dipped after vocational ed. classes were largely eliminated in favor of pushing more students towards "college" of some sort.

 

All thumbs, way up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We live in an affluent, highly-educated area and are zoned for one of those over-achieving, suburban high schools where "everyone" seems to be taking a dozen AP's plus DE. Certainly, all of my friends have kids taking multiple AP classes each year. Only the best of the best take DE, though, because that is limited to kids who have completed the AP courses available at the local high school and now need something beyond AP Calc BC or AP Chem. But, yes, it does seem like everyone is doing it.

 

In reality, the official statistic is that 32% of kids at our local high school are enrolled in at least 1 AP course. The overwhelming majority of kids are taking high school courses in high school. It has become an arms race at the tippy-top, but the majority of kids are still just high schoolers. Yes, I know sophomores taking 3-4+ AP classes, but most sophomores are taking Bio and Geometry and are working hard to get good grades in those classes.

 

I don't think this board or homeschoolers in general are a representative sample of overall high school trends, because homeschoolers use DE in a specific way that isn't applicable to the average high school student.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do find it an interesting discussion. My rising senior has and will do quite a bit of dual enrollment. I expect him to go to college with over 40 credit hours and the school he plans to attend will give him credit in his major for all of his classes. GREAT!

 

But it is sometimes hard for me to wrap my brain around. Sure, he is a naturally bright student. But he was never interested in school and homeschooling high school with him was really a battle. Outsourcing to de was an attempt to salvage something when he really did not do what in my opinion was adequate work in 8/9/10th grade. His de is at a private university, not even a cc. He has gotten all As and I feel like he doesn't work very hard. I'm rather baffled by the whole thing. I do think two things are going on. The first is that he is smarter than he ever let on. But, I can't discount the second which is that the classes are just not that hard. The introductory classes he has taken (even some sophomore level) just do not require as much as I would have thought. My kid is not that smart. Surely the introductory classes at this college are watered down. I think it is a good school with excellent teachers. I just think the content has been watered down considerably. It makes sense, really. Freshman English at the university level is serving those that are dual enrolling (which is average and better students) and those that graduated high school without dual enrolling. Around here, those that do not do any de are poor high school students.

 

I guess I have no point but it is something that I ponder quite a bit and I am not entirely sure how to feel about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll share this from a professor concerning transferring in important classes to another college.

 

My dd tutored 6 students in microbiology this past semester. All of them were nursing majors who had transferred in some of the core science requirements from other schools. Dd's professor told her that the courses they transferred in were not up to par with her institution's classes, and that's why they were struggling. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

In reality, the official statistic is that 32% of kids at our local high school are enrolled in at least 1 AP course. The overwhelming majority of kids are taking high school courses in high school. It has become an arms race at the tippy-top, but the majority of kids are still just high schoolers. Yes, I know sophomores taking 3-4+ AP classes, but most sophomores are taking Bio and Geometry and are working hard to get good grades in those classes.

 

Is it 32% of a single class year or 32% of students attending?  If it's a single class year, then yes, most kids aren't taking AP (though one third are), but if it's of students attending then roughly 50% of students are juniors/seniors (the most common years to take AP) so I'm not sure I see your "overwhelming majority."

 

At the public school where I work, DE/AP is limited to juniors and seniors.  I know that's not true at all schools, but if one looks at scores - most students taking the tests are juniors and seniors too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what is driving it for us.  DS15 is utterly miserably in the "honors" track in public HS, and struggling for purchase on an adequately challenging course load for next year.  It isn't that the school doesn't offer good subjects - it's that the content is watered down, tests are pitiful (what the heck is the point of a group test!?!?!?), and his grades are in jeopardy of slipping from disengaging from class.

 

So directional U, here we come.

 

My older kiddos went with mostly a full load of DE starting in 10th grade. They needed at least one class at the high school to play sports. It was a mixed bag, but was the only real option for them for the reasons you mention.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My district eliminated grouping by instructional need and went full inclusion when nclb came in. No instruction beyond grade level was offered, and in the end they decide if any child in the included K-6 classroom could not do a unit, no one could. Every child must have the opportunity to earn a 100 on grade level material. Gifted kids loved, because they didn't need remediation and had a lot of free time. When free time was turned into busywork their parents voted with their feet and moved to districts that had appropriate coursework for them. Others couldn't move and we now have higher truancy in middle school. High school is middle school here, unless one is in AP/DE..and AP is being taught to get a 3, not a 5. APUSH is literally identically to the old middle shool honors US History and is no where close to what I had in college in terms of written or reading demands. Basically anyone that wants an education afterschools if they can't go private or homeschool or get their dc to the CC for 11th and 12th.

 

 

I went to untracked high school, but one couldn't be socially promoted and one couldn't enroll in courses one wasn't academically prepared for. 12th English was full inclusion...and we read classics at grade level or above, much harder and about twice as much as my dc's AP English. No busy work, just thoughtful essays and discussions. Everyone read, no one wandered the hallways, told the teacher off, or decided they didn't need to use their dictionary. Everyone had been taught compostion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In our state we have no access to public school classes.  We do have a small liberal arts college 15 minutes from our house.  Dual enrollment has worked out great for us.  The girls have access to a full lab for science classes, qualified professors for any class they are interested in, and the chance to participate in class discussions, presentations, and projects.  For us, I couldn't have asked for a better deal.  However, they were able to handle the workload.  If they weren't, we would have looked into other options.

 

As far as AP classes, they are a great way to show that your homeschool student is well prepared for college level work.

If your child is able, why not take AP classes and dual enrollment?

Link to post
Share on other sites

You knew that I had to jump in here.

 

I've been a community college professor for coming up on nineteen years, working for community colleges with honors programs and guaranteed admissions agreements with dozens of schools you'd recognize including several "public Ivies."

 

For kids who are ready for college-level work, dual enrollment is a great thing. I did it with one of mine, and not the other. I was adjusting to their needs. There's no reason to hold them back.

 

My son just graduated from the honors program at the local community college, and he worked very, very hard. He has friends at a range of colleges, and there is nothing to make us believe that he had an inferior education at all. He loved the small classes and being local.

 

I understand that some 2-year colleges do indeed provide inferior education, but that hasn't been our experience at all. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...