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ERIC Number: EJ763313
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Surviving a Midlife Crisis: Advanced Placement Turns Fifty
Mollison, Andrew
Education Next, v6 n1 p34-39 Win 2006
In 1956, 1,220 college-bound juniors and seniors in 104 American high schools took the first Advanced Placement (AP) exams conducted by the Educational Testing Service for the College Board. The AP program was unabashedly elitist and designed to fortify the education of the nation's future leaders in anticipation of Cold War national security demands. Only 11 subject areas were offered at the time: American history, biology, chemistry, English, French, German, Latin IV (fourth-year Virgil), Latin V (prose, comedy, lyric), mathematics, physics, and Spanish. A half century later, the Cold War over, the AP program is still growing. Now, 50 years later, AP courses and exams cover 35 subjects including art history, economics (macro and micro), and studio art (2-D and 3-D design), and they are taken by more than a million students (including many blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and more girls than boys) from 11,000 public and 4,000 other schools (including more than 800 in other countries and territories). This article describes how the AP program has evolved quite far from its elitist roots, while still remaining focused on academic excellence. (Contains 1 figure.)
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas