The Advanced Placement Program: Living Up to Its Promise?

The College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program is considered by many to be the gold standard for a top-notch high school education, and it is often heralded as a powerful tool for achieving educational equity, but is it? This white paper written by Challenge Success in 2013, based on extensive review of the literature, will consider:

Does taking AP classes make students more likely to succeed in college?
Does taking AP classes boost a student’s chances of college admission?
Does taking AP classes make college more affordable?
Does the AP program help to narrow achievement gaps?
Does the AP program enrich students’ high school experiences?
Are schools with an AP program better than those without?

We conclude by offering a series of recommendations for educators and students aimed at making the Advanced Placement program a net positive.

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