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State Triples AP Testing Budget; Critics Question The Value

Indiana is tripling its budget for high school AP tests, but not all students score well enough to get college credit.

Empty classroom

Photo: James F. Clay (Flickr)

Critics say not all students are ready to take AP classes when they're juniors in high school.

Indiana students have to take at least two AP classes in order to receive an honors diploma. As a result, the state is spending $2.8 million this year to offset the cost of the exams.

Pat Carroll teaches AP US History at Bloomington High School South. He says more students are taking the test to fulfill the honors graduation requirement, but not all of them should be.

“I just think it’s a shame what we’re putting the students through this,” Carroll said. “Not everyone is ready to take college classes when they’re juniors.”

Carroll points out students do not have to pass the test to fulfill the honors requirement.

Derek Redelman is vice president at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He says that while the ultimate goal is for students to pass the exams so they can earn college credit, it’s also good for them to challenge themselves.

“For some students it may genuinely be an accomplishment to get them to strive for that higher-level coursework that they may otherwise not have,” Redelman said.

The state is already planning to up the amount it spends on AP tests to $3.3 million next year.

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