OPINION: Education isn’t about us


Robbie Spencer

It has become a smart decision for a student to enroll in multiple AP classes. However, common sense and logic will tell you, it is not.

Too often at high schools, like Manual, students are pressured to enroll in AP classes to make their application materials appealing to the eyes of a stranger who will decide how the next four years of their lives will play out. This is not okay.

A student enrolling in courses for the appearance of their rigor level over its relevance to his or her own self interest is a big waste of time. Instead of pursuing something that the student is interested in, the student is subjected to a course or line of work that a teacher or parent “suggested” was better for them. Furthermore, this takes away from a very big aspect of high school—a time for you to discover yourself.

AP classes are risky. In return for two semesters of strenuous work, they offer a relatively small portion of college credit, but even that is not guaranteed. The student must score at least a 3 on the test to receive the MINIMUM amount of college credit allowed. Additionally, some colleges and universities don’t even offer credit for these classes even if the students scores a three or higher on the test.

Moreover, the student must pay out of pocket to take the test, with most AP classes costing $90 at least, despite a Kentucky law stating that school districts should pay for these tests.  You hear “Don’t worry, It’ll pay off in 4 years… if you pass.”

Now, it is important for our society to encourage the youth to challenge themselves and take on new opportunities. However, this is not the case here. Young people are being pressured to pursue goals that are  not actually set by themselves or are reflective of their own self interests and skill sets, but instead for the pursuit of approval, weightless accolades and the single chance to boast to the next person who doesn’t care.

What most fail to realize is that “educational organizations” such as The College Board are for-profit organizations. They have found that there is money to be made in a society where parents pressure their children into strenuous AP courses, take several practice tests and ACT/SAT prep classes (which are also pricey) and even pay to retake that test if the score is not perfect.

There are several for-profit educational organizations that line their pockets with money from testing, a requirement for most colleges, and something that is presented and advertised as if your future is in the best interest. In short, opting out of paying these organizations hundreds of dollars during a student’s high school career is not possible.