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The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper

AP Classes – The Issue with Concord

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This is the winning article chosen from Mr. Pattersons C Block Rhetoric class after a blind review by The Voices editors. Some minor edits have been made. Thank you so much and congratulations to all who submitted! We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to read your fantastic work, and we hope that you will continue writing!

To my psychology teacher, I regret rolling my eyes at you. The fluorescent lights illuminated the smart board as he taught how the school implements intrinsic motivation theory.

“We don’t offer APs and honors, so you love your education instead of just trying to get into prestigious universities. In this school, you should learn because you’re interested in the material.”

He does have good intentions. Besides, not everyone has my parents. For them, education was survival. In my Dad’s childhood apartment, any light from the window was caught by the bookshelf in front of it—just in case of a stray bullet. He solved hundreds of AP Calculus problems under a dim pool of light from his half-broken lamp. Studying was the avenue to a university scholarship—my Dad’s ticket away from that perilous window.

My family and I have had the privilege of living safely thanks to my father’s excruciating course load. His school gifted him the resources to fight his financial hardships. Without access to AP classes, he wouldn’t have been able to afford a college education. Learning purely for the sake of interest is not a good “choice.”

It is a luxury.

A luxury that is not afforded to every student in CCHS. According to the Concord Carlisle Regional High School YRBS survey in 2021, 7% of students skipped meals due to a lack of food, 4% worried about becoming homeless, and 1% were homeless.

These statistics don’t include the number of students scared of their future college debt, which is predicted to be around $37,000. It is estimated that taking AP classes can save a student up to $16,000. AP credits are also widely accepted by universities; over 58% of public colleges accept them. The school may cut AP courses, but the need to take AP exams remains.

In fact, the 2017 CCHS Post-Secondary Handbook encourages students to take the AP Humanities exams. Yet, they refuse to offer students resources to succeed in them. The Handbook states, “It is expected that advanced study in a demanding curriculum will be necessary to perform well on the Advanced Placement exams.” We attend CCHS, though, so our parents should just afford an AP Lang tutor, right? Of course, anything can be learned for free online. But scrummaging for AP content in Google search results and absorbing an educator’s teachings will never provide the same learning opportunities for students. For most students, the absence of AP courses causes anxiety and sleepless nights as we search for random YouTubers to explain a “Synthesis Essay” (after we finish all of our required social studies and English work).

At Concord Carlisle High School, many forget that being born with certainty is a privilege. Most people—even those at CCHS—must work hard for just a chance. Having an avenue where our work ethic is rewarded in some capacity evens the playing field. Please eradicate any policies that create barriers for students. The refusal to offer AP humanities should be the first to go.

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