The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee heard concerns over the way AP courses are offered and agreed to look into possible changes.
ADAMS, Mass. — The School Committee is going to consider changing the way advance placement courses are offered — particularly when it comes to paying for the end-of-the-year exam.
The school charges $89 for the final exam, which is administered through the College Board and approved by most colleges for acceptance for college credit.
However, that fee is required to be paid at the beginning of the year and must be paid in order to take the course.
Parent Donna Gale, however, feels that policy excludes some students from taking the course and the process should be changed. Gale raised concerns not just with the ability for some in the school district to pay but also whether the instruction is up to par.
"I can pay for the exam but some people can't," Gale told the School Committee on Monday and later added "if [the student] felt like they were taught properly then let them decide if they want to take the test."
The class is still good for college resumes even if the student doesn't take the exam for college credit, she said. Gale hopes that the school could offer another option.
She also said students often don't know which college they will attend and or if the school will accept the credit, but have to pay in advance for the exam. Teachers also can get ill and the substitute may fall short of teaching all that is needed for the test, said Gale.
Superintendent Kristin Gordon said the exams are too expensive for the district to bear the burden of the cost. But, she agreed that the required test could exclude some from taking the course. She said previously the school had been bearing the costs of students not paying for the exam.
"There are pros and cons on both sides," Gordon said.
Gordon said the process had been set before she took over so the concerns are new to her. She has looked into the way other schools do it and said the "jury is still out." Gordon said some schools require that the final exam be the College Board's exam while others provide an option for a final exam, which wouldn't be accepted for college credit.
She called for the committee to discuss the pros and cons for a possible change.
"Are we serving this district in the wisest way?" School Committee member Paul Butler said.
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