NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ824487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Whitman, Glenn
History Teacher, v36 n3 p357-365 May 2003
In May 2001, students in the author's Advanced Placement (AP) United States History class were embroiled in a controversy surrounding the AP exam, in particular, having access to the exam's Document Based Question (DBQ) and free response portion prior to the test's administration. Prior to the exam, the College Board had provided a fifty-year time period for the Document Based Question. The 2001 DBQ would fall in the 1920s-70s period and would be worth forty-five percent of the free-response section that also included two additional thirty-minute essays. The author and his students enjoyed narrowing down the possible questions by evaluating previous DBQs from this period that are published by the College Board in Doing the DBQ. A few months after the exam, the author became deeply troubled during an informal conversation with a student in the class who, half-jokingly commented, "We got away with it." As the author probed into the student's remarks it developed that on the night before the exam, one of the students was combining college research with exam preparation and came across a discussion thread at in which another student who has taken the AP exams earlier gave information that the DBQ was on the Cold War and Eisenhower. This information was shared with a few members of the class via phone and e-mail. In the author's mind, and with the support of the St. Andrew's administration, he knew that his students' scores needed to be canceled. In this article, the author discusses the lessons he learned from AP-gate. He also contends that AP-gate should remind educators that the integrity of individual students, teachers and schools needs to be at the forefront of the educational process and current debates surrounding the expansion of standardized testing. While teachers continue to push their students to excel on AP exams, and as the College Board seeks to expand the pool of AP candidates, teachers must remember their dual responsibility for shaping both their historical minds and their character.
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States