AP Gov and AP Macro to be full-Year courses

AP Gov and AP Macro to be full-Year courses

Johnathan Thompson, Student Life Editor

Major changes are coming to Wellington High next year for students that are planning to take two particular AP courses. Currently, AP Government/Politics and AP Macroeconomics are only half-year courses (semester long). But for next year, students enrolled in the course combination will have to take each class for a full year.

What this means is that the AP students will have to take a full year of AP Government with Mr. Sink, and a full year of AP Macro with Mr. Fletcher. As a result of the new changes, schedules and class choices will be affected if a student has all seven periods because an elective will have to be given up in order to fit both classes in.

The main reason for this change is because of the AP tests and their results.

“The bottom line is to improve the passing scores on the AP exams at the end of the year.” Mr. Fletcher said.

The amount of time in achieving to get both classes to be a full year took a long time. Mr. Fletcher said it took five to six years in fact.

One of the issues Mr. Fletcher brought up was the way the courses are set up.

“Because AP Macro and AP American Government are semester courses, to try and stretch it out over a year, we have to justify a grade at the end of the first semester.” he added.

“We have a slight problem remaining… students have expressed unhappiness with the fact that they take the class… they get one semester of AP credit, one semester of honors credit, and that is the way the state has things structured,” Mr. Sink explains.

For the students enrolled for these two AP courses next year, the credit structure will be similar to how it is now. Seniors will still get the same semester AP credit they currently receive. The only difference is that 0.5 honors credits are going to be added onto each course the second semester. As a result of this, students will be enrolled in AP Government and AP Macroeconomics with Mr. Sink and Mr. Fletcher (respectively) first semester, and when the second semester comes around, the AP courses will change to honors classes.

Mr. Sink goes on, saying, “…it will be AP work.”

“We’re still going to be taking AP Macro the full year. It’s just the state only recognizes it as a semester course, so we can be able to justify a grade in December. But we wont be finished with the course,” Mr. Fletcher pointed out.

Even though students will be considered to be in an honors class, their instructors will still be covering and be distributing advance placement assignments.

With these AP classes now being a full year, there are some benefits to the students when they enroll in these courses.

One of the benefits according to Mr. Sink is that “the course will include some chapters which I may elude to… we’ll be able to slow down and spend more time on the three branches of government, which comprises a pretty good chunk of the AP exam.”

The main advantage is the ability for Mr. Sink and Mr. Fletcher to slow the pace of course and go more in depth on subjects that may appear on AP exams that may not be covered in just a semester. Not only that, some of the other possibilities are to go over tests and use the extra time in the second semester to review for the end of the year AP exams. Therefore, taking a full year is more beneficial to students who hope to pass the AP exams and get credit towards those particular courses. The resources and skills are there.

“The pace is going to be much slower. Much, much slower,” Mr. Fletcher mentioned.

“The ability to approach the subject in a more methodical manner definitely is a benefit to the student.” Mr. Sink added.

With this major change next year at WHS, will seniors (mostly) be less likely to enroll in AP Macro and AP Gov’t due to the fact it’s senior year, and the alternatives (Regular or Honors Government and Economics), are simply a semester each?

“I think in the first year students are going to be apprehensive; They’re going to hesitate because it’s new.” said Mr. Fletcher.

“Yes simply because it’s essentially an honors class,” Akai James, sophomore, said when asked if he would take AP Macro and Government his senior year.

“I would take the half year courses [regular or honors class instead of AP] because I wouldn’t feel ready for them,” said Mandolyn Harris, freshman.

Just because these two AP courses are a year long instead of a semester, it shouldn’t be taken as something scary or impossible. The courses will be altered in ways that will make teaching the subjects easier and for getting a thorough review to help prepare students. It is generally beneficial for students and a change for the better.