Instead of an increase in Advanced Placement (AP) class enrollment with the open enrollment policy, numbers in certain AP classes have decreased because more students chose to drop AP classes from their schedule.
Spanish Literature AP, Chemistry AP and United States History AP (USHAP) had significant drops this year.
Only one period of Chemistry AP and USHAP remain this year. Last year, 52 were enrolled in USHAP, while only 29 students are enrolled this year. Chemistry AP has 25 as opposed to 48 students, and the class is still experiencing dropouts.
Students and teachers agree there are several factors that may have contributed to this decrease.
According to Chemistry AP teacher Carl Babb, filling a schedule with too many AP classes is a major reason why students drop a class.
“Ambitious students tend to put too much on their plate and go way over their head,” Babb said. “Certain classes need a strong foundation on certain skills and others don’t. Without those skills, students are heading into disaster.”
USHAP teacher Gabriel Stewart also thinks that students drop because of work load and time issues.
“[It is] too much for them or too difficult. [They have] no time in their schedule,” Stewart said.
Junior Joshua Huang decided not to take USHAP.
“I didn’t want to overwhelm myself since my schedule was already pretty busy,” Joshua said.
According to Babb, students are also quickly intimidated.
“[Students] realize the work that is ahead of them and immediately think twice about their decision to stay in the class or drop,” Babb said.
Some students feel taking AP classes is a matter of dedication.
“The people who drop are the people that don’t love it,” said senior Lisa Goodman, a student who has not dropped Spanish Literature AP. “They don’t want to invest the time to really get the ‘A.’”
Due to scheduling conflicts, students may need to make a sacrifice between two classes offered the same period.
Senior Noor Salim chose Drawing II over Advanced French.
“It turned out that I needed to drop the class to be able to get into the drawing class that I wanted to be in,” Noor said. “If it weren’t for that, I would’ve liked to stay in the class.