Teacher advisor involvement in AP testing would increase efficiency

As Advanced Placement (AP) testing starts next week, The Campanile would like to express its belief that the method used to administer AP pre-administration sessions was ineffective. The sessions are inefficient in terms of time usage, and confusing to select one of the few available times. The sessions were an unnecessarily slow process and did not utilize an effective system Palo Alto High School already has in place, advisory, to communicate directly with students.

Instead of forcing students who wished to take AP tests to congregate in three sessions with hundreds of kids each, the administration could give the forms to all Teacher-Advisors (TA) and have them administer a session for their advisees. This would be a much more efficient use of time, allow students to ask more individual questions and foster complete attendance. The TAs would not be required to wait for hundreds of students to fill out each box before moving on to the next one, they would only have to help a maximum of 30 students to complete the tasks. Advisors could also resolve any questions or confusion that the students have about the forms as there are much fewer people, and thusly the TAs could be more specific in their guidance and tailor it to individual students. Students are also much more likely to attend if they believe that it is an advisory session which they must go to as opposed to three optional sessions where they will have the chance to make it up if they decide not to go. There is also a dedicated block of time in every student’s’ schedule for advisory and so they would not have to miss a lunch or time after school in order to finish the mandatory forms.

In terms of actual logistics, since each TA has a class of both juniors and seniors, he or she could administer the session to them in a group advisory, and anyone who missed the session could come for a make-up session the following week.

On the whole, properly making use of the enormous resources that are offered with the TA system would allow the administration to make sure that every student fills out the required forms for AP testing, to ensure that all students questions are answered, and to be as time-efficient as possible.