By Meraf Amare and Sarah Huang
Mills made an unprecedented decision to cancel Advanced Placement (AP) classes for the upcoming school year at a school board meeting this past week.
Recently, there has been a growing initiative to alleviate student stress, and the Mills administration believed that getting rid of AP classes was the best solution as these classes have shown to be the most common source of excessive stress for students.
On average, each AP class has around two hours of homework and requires completion of summer homework and frequent projects. Without the time consuming classes, staff and administration hope that student stress will be reduced.
“I’m really excited about the change. I think this will allow students to explore more activities and interests outside of school,” academic counselor Ms. Hauth commented.
Additionally, students will save money as they would not have to pay to take the AP test at the end of the year. Tests cost about one hundred dollars each, and many students take more than one AP class, making their total cost over two hundred dollars. The money they would save could then be used for more practical needs, such as paying for the SAT or ACT, or even saved for future investments.
With the end of the AP classes coming near, teachers have also shown excitement to regain the month of May for actual teaching time.
“I don’t need to cut out an entire month of curriculum anymore. It is very helpful,” noted former AP History of Feminism teacher Ms. Dove.
This change has been met with concerns of academic quality from students. Junior Cara Ip proclaimed, “It’s a step back for Mills in our academic progress. Mills is recognized as a very academically-centered school and taking away our APs would hinder our success.”
However, it is important to recognize that AP and advanced classes are not necessarily synonymous. AP classes merely refer to the classes that must follow curriculum put forth by College Board, the organization that administers the AP tests. Even with the AP classes cancelled, students will still be able to take advantage of the advanced curriculum that Mills has to offer.
Furthermore, Mills is not the first, nor the only school, to eliminate the AP curriculum. Crystal Springs Upland School in Hillsborough, Lick-Wilmerding High School, Urban High School, and University High School in San Francisco are among the many schools who see the benefits of such a change.
“We’re joining a growing national movement that is eliminating AP on the high school campus,” remarked Academic Counselor Mr. Stillman. “I think this is a move in the right direction in order for students to live happier, more balanced lives.”