BY DYLAN MIARS
The Advanced Placement Exam is a costly college level examination for college credit offered by The College Board that will now potentially be free for students in the Redlands Unified School District. AP tests and classes have been offered in the Redlands school district since its conception, but at a cost. Students have always had to pay upwards of 80 dollars, $93 currently, for the test alone. This price fails to include other necessities such as the review book based in that subject, extra supplies for that class alone–graphing calculators, binders, etc– and the toll that an Advance Placement test takes on a student not only physically, but mentally as well. Due to a recent meeting between district board officials, the development of a private fund based around the AP test has been created. Although the test is believed to be paid for in entirety, students do have to face certain qualifications in order to receive a free test, such as a deposit as well as participation within the class. This money is believed to come from the LCAP fund, money given by the state to improve various school aspects to lower the amount of subgroup children.
When asked about free AP exams for students, Jodi Bradberry, an AP 11 & 12 English teacher, commented: “I think it’s wonderful that the district is willing to pay for the AP exams. Many students refrain from taking an exam because they can’t afford it. Now that won’t be a problem.” Jen Yaghoubian, an Academic Case Carrier at Redlands East Valley and Moore Middle School, said “I think that the AP Exam should be free for everyone”. She shared about how problems such as income and self-doubt are dominant in sub-groups and that this decision by the district is one that will provide access to a new environment.
However some people share a different perspective. Some have argued that due to the lack of a barrier for the AP Exam, although allowing many more people who were fiscally prevented from taking the test, lowers the standard for students, and now anyone can take the test and not have to worry about passing or failing, because students have not placed a financial bond on the test. Simply put, if a student does not put a significant quantity of money on the line, the student is less likely to try for that 3+ score.
All in all, the plan of an AP exam, for the mere cost of five dollars and a spot in the class of the subject they wish to test in, while not absolutely confirmed, is extremely plausible. Free AP exams have been in place in many surrounding districts while Redlands has just begun offering them.. This change has now united most students and teachers in harmony, as the potential for college is ever more achievable for students no matter the financial situation.