Alternatives to the AP [Letter]

January 25, 2014

I am a junior at Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County who is currently taking three Advanced Placement classes this year. By the time I graduate I will have taken 11 AP exams, so I can appreciate the point of your recent article about how the stresses of an AP class affect a student's lifestyle ("Some parents, educators are rethinking role of AP," Jan. 18).

However, your article failed to give enough attention to another reason people are taking AP classes. Baltimore County schools are steadily cutting the gifted and talented program in favor of AP. Frequently, students have a choice between the incredibly challenging and stressful AP class or the honors class that offers little challenge.

AP classes also remove opportunities for elective courses. There are many people who would love to take, for example, a music elective but can't because gifted and talented physics will no longer be offered. That leaves only AP physics, a course that takes up two credits on their schedule, filling the only spot they would have had for an elective.

I support the AP program, but I don't use it for my resume or to save money. I use it to get college credit and so I don't have to take general education courses in college. But I would still like a less stressful but similarly challenging alternative to the grueling AP classes.

Nolan Breysse, Glen Arm

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