You may have heard this week that Dartmouth College has announced that starting with its class of 2018 (those who enroll in the fall of 2014) it will no longer give course credit for any score on any AP test.
What you may not know is that much of the blame is being directed by Dartmouth at the AP Psychology exam. Specifically, members of the psychology department have been concerned that incoming Dartmouth students who passed the AP Psych exam with a 5 (and who presumably received credit for Psych 1) were not succeeding academically as expected.
So they had those students take a "condensed version" of Dartmouth's Psych 1 final exam, and according to Dartmouth, 90% of the students who had scored a 5 failed Dartmouth's test. What's more, Dartmouth claims that those students who failed the test and then proceeded to take Psych 1 did no better than students who had never taken AP Psychology.
Obviously, this is of concern. On the other hand, if you're like me, you're struggling to figure out what this really means. You probably have a lot of questions and want to see the data, right? As do I - and so on Friday I contacted the chair of the Dartmouth psychology department, Dr. Jay Hull, and asked if I could interview him by e-mail to get some specifics about this decision. He has agreed. The questions have been sent, and when I get the answers, I'll follow up with another post.
In the meantime, please share your comments and questions below. I would love for Dr. Hull (and other psychologists from Dartmouth) to see what real high school psychology teachers feel about this decision.
--posted by Steve