To the Editor:
In his Commentary “Advanced Placement for Whom?” (Nov. 5, 2008), Lee T. Pearcy implies that the College Board is discontinuing its AP Latin program. In fact, two separate courses and exams in AP Latin currently exist, and only one—AP Latin literature—will be discontinued. The College Board is applying to Latin the same model it has applied for years to AP programs in German, Chinese, and Japanese: providing one capstone AP course and exam. This decision does not reduce the board’s commitment to Latin, but instead concentrates our efforts.
The College Board shares Mr. Pearcy’s desire for more minority students to study Latin and will maintain the deep subsidies we must offer to provide schools with an AP Latin program. Mr. Pearcy implies that we do not subsidize the subject, but nothing could be further from the truth. In addition to the subsidies we give, we grant annual scholarships for teachers in minority-dominant and/or low-income schools to receive Advanced Placement professional development, as well as extend start-up grants to enable urban and rural schools to add AP Latin programs. The effort to increase minority enrollment in AP Latin does not depend on having two separate and distinct AP Latin courses and exams.
We deeply appreciate Mr. Pearcy’s acknowledgment of our work “to expand educational opportunity,” along with his clear enthusiasm for our courses. We wish, however, to set the record straight regarding these important details.
Advanced Placement Program
New York, N.Y.
A version of this article appeared in the December 10, 2008 edition of Education Week as Advanced Placement Latin: Setting the Record Straight