An examination of the perception of educators regarding the selection criteria used in placing students in Advanced Placement courses in three middle Tennessee counties

Gazetta Holt-Roberts, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This research explored the attitudes and perceptions among educators in Tennessee regarding the recruitment of students into Advanced Placement courses. This study identified insights and observations from superintendents; principals; assistant principals; counselors; AP teachers; teachers of honors classes; and teachers of regular, non-AP, nonhonors courses regarding how they viewed the overall process of recruitment of students into AP classes. Based on current literature regarding low levels of participation of minorities, namely African American and Hispanics, in AP programs throughout the nation, more research was needed to determine what constructs were in place that contributed to continuing these established patterns of exclusion of students from AP programs. The study evaluated the perceptions of AP programs from select educators from three school districts within the Mid-Cumberland Region (district): Cheatham County School District, Dickson County School District, and Williamson County School district. Eleven schools from the three school districts were included in the research. A survey, which consisted of 28 questions on a Likert Scale and a demographic section, was distributed to 650 educators in Tennessee's Mid-Cumberland Region. The study examined the perceptions of educators who either worked in schools where there were existing AP classes, or in schools where AP programs had previously been in place. The observations and insights from the participants were analyzed to determine whether perceptions differed according to years of experience, gender, ethnicity, grade level taught, and job title/position. The results revealed inconsistencies in the perceptions of educators with regard to who was responsible for the recruitment and selection of students into Advanced Placement programs. On most issues, AP teachers generally agreed with honors teachers about whether minority and economically disadvantaged students were qualified to participate in AP programs. The perceptions of regular education teachers differed greatly from those of AP and honors teachers when examining equity and fairness in the AP program. Educators strongly disagreed with other educators regarding specifically written policies and guidelines governing the selection process. These findings indicated serious flaws and inconsistencies in the overall AP program regarding recruitment and selection of students from all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Gazetta Holt-Roberts, "An examination of the perception of educators regarding the selection criteria used in placing students in Advanced Placement courses in three middle Tennessee counties" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3307308.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3307308

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