February 8, 2013

Jay Mathews’s Jan. 28 Education column, “Dartmouth denies AP credits without studying the research,” spotlighted a policy modification recently approved by the faculty of Dartmouth College: While Advanced Placement scores will continue to be used to ensure proper course placement of incoming students, beginning in 2014 we will no longer grant credit toward graduation for such scores.

The decision’s rationale is rooted in our faculty’s belief that high AP exam scores are not a substitute for a Dartmouth undergraduate class.

Our policy is not a rejection of the quality of education that high school teachers provide, as Mr. Mathews stated. Nor is it an affront to the value of AP classes. Students with qualifying scores will continue to be able to place out of certain introductory courses or be exempted from certain requirements. This policy lets students take more advanced courses within the normal four-year program.

Additionally, it does not alter our strong commitment to affordability; Dartmouth currently meets 100 percent of demonstrated need in financial aid.

This modification is part of our constant drive to improve the institution’s academic rigor, and it follows other steps we’ve recently taken to that end.

Michael Mastanduno, Hanover, N.H.

The writer is the dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Dartmouth College.