Joe Orlando: AP classes help students

March 22, 2014 

The article “Some parents, educators rethink AP classes,” (Page D-1, March 20) suggests that Advanced Placement classes are merely stepping stones to a better college. That may be part of it, but the writer undermines the academic preparation these students receive as a result of taking on challenging, rigorous classes.

AP prepares students for the rigor of college, and these students are more successful after transitioning to college – no matter what college they attend. They are better readers, they are better writers and they are better thinkers. And AP provides choice. Students are not required to take five AP classes, unlike other “all-in” programs. Student should take only the AP classes they can handle, even just one if they wish, benefit from the rigor, and then participate in other electives or extracurriculars as desired.

If students are taking an AP class only to look better on paper, then they are taking the class for the wrong reason. The “usefulness” the article focuses on is more mercenary than the true purpose of education; that is, to become a more responsible and productive member of our community. The many students I have had the privilege to work with over the years prove that.

JOE ORLANDO

Modesto

Republicans losing their way?

California State Republicans just completed their annual party gathering and, from what I have read and heard, pledged to be a party that welcomes all Californians, that seeks jobs and economic well-being for everyone, and that wants a fair and equitable solution to the vexing immigration problem. They want to be Democrats!

JACK HEINSIUS

Modesto

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