Thursday, May 8, 2014

* Dartmouth Rejects AP Course Credit

Bureaucratic Baloney and Mindless Gobbledygook
The Huffington Post  has  noted that Darmouth College faculty have made a gutsy decision : Students may no longer substitute AP courses taken in high school for credit toward a Dartmouth degree.

I say "gutsy" because after nearly three decades in public education and  three evaluations of my Vermont  high school  by the  (LINK)New England Association of Schools and Colleges,  NEASC, I am aware of tremendous pressure put on high schools by bureaucrats and,  by dollar-conscious parents, to do everything they can to make high school graduates eligible to cut college costs.

The Almighty Dollar reigns here.  Dartmouth is challenging this false god, and I say "good for them."

As an English teacher, holding four college degrees (two in English), I was always frustrated by the deadening prose  in the NEASC evaluation forms which involved months of faculty committee work and a cowardly silence on the part of faculty about the unintelligible bureaucratic gobbledygook which NEASC produced for faculty to read and evaluate.

Here's an example of  the platitudinous vagueness and jargon taken from its high school evaluation process:

21st Century Learning Expectations
Effective schools identify core values and beliefs about learning that function as explicit foundational commitments to students and the community.  Decision-making remains focused on and aligned with these critical commitments.  Core values and beliefs manifest themselves in research-based, school-wide 21st century learning expectations.   Every component of the school is driven by the core values and beliefs about learning and supports all students' achievement of the school's learning expectations.  (from the Overview for Standard 1)

I was just as guilty as anyone else in my silence when we had to endure months and  volumes of this nonsense.

 I knew there was no point in fighting this bureaucratic beast.  It was entrenched.

Is it any wonder that high school Advanced Placement courses  do not meet college standards when high school faculty are forced to prostrate themselves in obeisance to such mindless prose and bureaucratic baloney ?

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