Freshmen Getting a Head Start on APs

Brooklyn Tech is once again changing the ninth grade Global History course, in hopes of improving results on the Advanced Placement World History Exam. Previously, freshmen were placed in Global History for the entire school year with the option of electing to take a two-semester AP World History course during their sophomore year.

As of this year, AP World History will be extended into a three-semester course. Approximately 650 ninth graders who qualified were sent emails in early December. Starting next Tuesday, with the beginning of the spring semester, those who were accepted will be placed in this course, while the rest will finish their freshman year in Global History.

The Assistant Principal of Social Studies, David Newman, screened the students who were selected for the new program. Newman based the decision off only the students’ overall grades, with English and Social Studies grades doubled, similar to the major selection process.

There is not necessarily a cut-off score, however, Newman mentioned that lowest weighted GPA was an 86.5.This entire process is done with students only being identified by their OSIS numbers.

He feels this process is fair as he says, “I do the screening myself, no favoritism, no kids who didn’t make the cut, no ‘this is my favorite course’, no ‘I’m working in the office’… no favoritism whatsoever. And it wasn’t based on teacher but except for solely the grades they give.”

While the effects of this course change remain unclear, Newman has definite goals in mind. He says, “I hope the freshmen come out of this course knowing how to write a College Board level essay, understand the structure of the AP World essay, and how to write on that level of rigor. If they have that skill coming out, I think this program is successful.

One Response to "Freshmen Getting a Head Start on APs"

  1. Jacob M   March 11, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    I think that it’s a good idea to increase the time students have over the course. At the same time though, there are some drawbacks. With a summer between the first and second semesters of the course, many of the students will forget the information they learned at the end of Freshman year. In addition, without a full year of high school to compare, students may be signing up for a course without realizing the course rigor and what they’re really getting into. I admire the department’s attempt at relieving the stress that students have, but disagree with the method implemented. Perhaps turn the class into an alternating double period.

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