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The AP Love Affair

You would be hard pressed to find a bigger cheerleader for Advanced Placement than Jay Mathews. Except possibly for the people at The College Board who run the extremely profitable program.1 For anyone who has not read the Post regularly over the past couple of decades, Mathews is well-known around here for writing full-throated, uncritical […]

Bad Questions

I don’t often agree with Jay Mathews. Mathews was the long time education reporter for the Washington Post and now writes a weekly column for the paper. I’ve written many posts about his adoration of KIPP charter schools, the unrequited love of the Advanced Placement program, and especially his Challenge Index, his annual ranking of […]

Fixing the Challenge

Jay Mathews’ annual “challenge” index ranks high schools based on a simple ratio of the number of AP/IB tests to the number of graduates with no regard for the scores. One side effect of this heavily-publicized “best high schools” ranking (what he calls an “unconventional use of AP”) is that large numbers of unqualified students […]

I’m In Trouble Now

In his Class Struggle column this week, Jay Mathews presents his favorite education blogs of 2008.  And includes this little rantfest on the list!  (look on page 4) It’s a rather odd mix of professional education pundits, classroom teachers, and those of us somewhere in between. In his thumbnail sketch, Mathews says I get extra […]

Ten Years of a Weak Challenge

According to Jay Mathews, this spring will mark the 10th anniversary of the “challenge” index, his system for ranking high schools based on the number of students taking AP and/or IB tests. I’ve had plenty of issues with the listing for at least half that decade, primarily with the fact that such a simplistic statistic […]

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