Success in High School Doesn’t Mean Good Grades in College – The Atlantic

When the Value of High School Is Exaggerated

By EMILY DERUY, JUL 26, 2016

It turns out that students who take AP classes don’t actually get better college grades.

As more students pursue college, high schools are becoming increasingly bullish about enrolling students in advanced classes. These courses, the standard refrain goes, will prepare young people for the rigor of higher education and set them up for success as they embark on their college careers.

Not so fast, say a pair of researchers in a new Brookings Institution blog post. “We found confirmatory evidence that advanced high-school courses apparently do little to prepare students for success in college coursework,” write Gregory Ferenstein, a former TechCrunch reporter (who has also written for The Atlantic), and Brad Hershbein, a nonresident Brookings fellow and economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

It turns out that students who take AP classes don’t actually get better college grades.

The pair looked at thousands of high-school and college transcripts using the National Educational Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative survey of about 25,000 students that began in 1988. They found that, when they controlled for things like race, gender, socioeconomic background, and standardized-test scores, the courses that students took in high school had very little impact on college grades. In other words, if Tom took an economics class in high school, even an advanced one, and Joe did not, and then both young men enrolled in an economics course in college, they were likely to earn the same grade. Still, states are continuing to push more kids into advanced courses. “For some reason, the belief persists,” Hershbein said.


AP is okay for a few kids, but AP was never about helping kids, it was about creating a stream of new college customers & more jobs for college instructors. Send off all these 18’s to their two years national service and hand them a 2-year CC scholarship when they’re done. Sooner or later these bloated 4-year institutions will have to consolidate, downsize, or just close their doors anyway. – JLS

Read the full story here: College – The Atlantic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s