I complained recently that college professors too often wrongly dismiss high school teachers as being unsuited to teach college-level classes such as the Advanced Placement courses so popular in the Washington region, says Jay Matthews for the Washington Post. Two scholars from distinguished universities gently chided me for being too hard on their academic colleagues. They might be right. After an e-mail exchange with John T. Fourkas, Millard Alexander Professor of Chemistry at the University of Maryland, and Bryan McCann, associate professor of history at Georgetown University, I concede that professors’ concerns about AP often show no disrespect for high schools but instead stem from discomfort with the ill effects of colleges competing for AP students. Fourkas and McCann like AP and similar college-level programs such as International Baccalaureate. They recognize that those classes have made high school more challenging and gotten students ready for long college reading lists and long exams…

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