Debatable: LISD should shift more resources into AP testing


The Magnet Tribune: Mauro Flores

Johanna Chaney gives instruction to her AP U.S. History class during 5th block.

Angie Bravo, Staff Writer

This is senior Angie Bravo’s final Debatable column on The Magnet Tribune online newspaper.

We hear it nearly every day; “Education is the foundation of life” or “You don’t have a choice, you need to go to study for a better life,” or something along those lines. We hear something nearly every day to urge us to stay and pursue higher education. However, in the educational system Laredo has created, we are being confined and bound to Laredo. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to pursue education within Laredo but what is wrong is closing us off to options in the rest of the world.

Beginning with LISD’s shift in focus to dual enrollment classes rather than target focus and funding on AP classes.  Though dual enrollment classes are useful, the college hours they provide are likely not transferable outside of Texas or to private institutions. AP exams on the other hand, if passed, can provide college hours to any college of choice. LISD’s overt attention to dual enrollment is an attempt to confine us to the state and more specifically, Laredo; nearly as if to say that we can’t survive outside this circle of education.

If money and the allocation of is the issue, LISD should instead make AP testing optional rather than mandatory. There are plenty of students that do not want to take a certain AP test and if they show up to the day of, it is likely they will not try because they did not want to be there in the first place, resulting in a loss of resources that could have been put to better use if the students had been given the option. If LISD does this, I guarantee money could be saved and reallocated.

However, if LISD is really persistent with making AP tests mandatory then yearlong classes should be implemented. People in general, let alone students with five classes in their day, cannot realistically learn what is supposed to be learned with the span of a year and crammed in five months effectively enough to be able to pass every AP test. For example, I very vividly recall my AP U.S. History teacher frantically urging us to pass the STAAR and reminding us of the difficulty of teaching a year’s worth of knowledge in less than five months.

Nevertheless, aside from the AP issue, no yearlong classes or SAT/ACT prep is offered. If students are meant to be the priority, why isn’t this an option? The most important standardized tests for college are being ignored and left at the hands of teenagers. While we can try to study ourselves, we cannot be expected to teach ourselves something we do not know. An organized attempt to improve scores is a necessary measure if schools desire to upgrade school competitiveness. More so than just competitiveness however, this is about granting more opportunity to students. LISD knows how poorly SAT/ACT scores are and the fact that they choose not to do anything about it speaks volumes and are maintaining us in a cycle of poor scores which make it that much harder in an already difficult process to stand out in the college admissions process.

LISD efforts are concentrated on monetary value but should rather prioritize the student, as schools should. Education needs to change if Laredo wants to change.