With regard to Susan's unhappiness with the AP program that her children attended... I share many of the same viewpoints. I do, however want to defend the AP program that I have worked so hard to create in my school. I think that AP seperates the "men from the boys", it gives me the opportunity to raise the ladder and demand greatness in an educational environment that often allows for mediocrity. It seems that things that we get for free are not valued and when it hits my students wallets they seem more apt to work hard.
I also think that the experience that student's get from having to put together a porfolio is very important. They leave my class with a beautiful porfolio that will always be a reflection of themselves and their skills even if they never go to art school. Just the fact that the class is small (16 students) allows me so much more freedom We also interact with the art museum and I have had students work as docents and volunteers.
I realize that there are many problems associated with AP and hope that in the future the college board will have the insight to revamp the program. In the meantime I will go on pushing the program as it helps to validate my art program and give students yet another dimension in their development.
Barb in Texas