Today before 1st period, I noticed quite the gathering outside of our gym. Upon my investigation of this congregatory phenomenon I learned that an AP test was being given. I offered "academic blessings" to those students I know (actually, I sort of knighted them with my roll sheets) and proceeded forthwith to prepare for the day.
About three hours later, on my prep period, I was headed to the office, and what did I spy near the attendance office? A crowd of students, many of whom I recognized from earlier that morning.
I knew right away what was going on. They had finished their AP test and were getting "early dismissals" so they could go home for the day.
There are some illegal things we do at my school. And there are some silly things. And there are some dumb things. And this is one of the dumb things.
Is taking one test really a good reason to take a half a day off school? And for the students who have four AP classes and will presumably take four AP tests, is there really a good reason for them to miss four days of classes?
I can hear one argument already: if we're smart enough to take AP classes, we can afford to miss a day of school. However, we're not talking about what students can afford to miss academically. If that were the case, why not just take random days off if you have A's? Because that's not how the game's played, and that's not what's expected of students (or teachers, for that matter).
Argument #2: my brain's turned to mush after that test. Sorry, I'm not buying it. If you're useless after three hours of testing, then you're probably not ready for all those Stanford classes you're trying so hard to get into. Get ready for periodic all-nighters! Oh, and get to class--there's still a month of school left.
Argument #3: I need to go home and study for tomorrow's AP test. I could be swayed by that argument, if I knew that students would actually be studying for tomorrow's AP test. Most, however, gave Argument #2 when I asked them.
Argument #4: It's a reward for all that hard work in AP all year. Nope; your reward is the satisfaction of a job well done, and perhaps three college credits for only the cost of a test. Oh, that, and getting to play cards and video games in AP class for the rest of the school year (one of the silly things we do at our school).
So, are our AP students wussies, prima donnas, or merely taking advantage of their parents' softness? You decide.