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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dear Extra Credit:

I enjoyed the column and the dialogue with the Eleanor Roosevelt High School students [Extra Credit, March 26], but there are three science and technology programs in Prince George's County. Roosevelt's program began when the school opened its doors in fall 1976. Oxon Hill's program was cloned in fall 1983, and Charles Herbert Flowers got the third in fall 2000.

I'm tired of hearing statistics that claim Advanced Placement enrollment, even with no AP test, confers a "greater success rate" in that course in college. Consider this statement: "Participants in a marathon, regardless of whether they receive a medal, perform better in later long-distance races than those who have never entered a marathon." Really! AP enrollees have already been selected for their academic skills by meeting prerequisites and have shown the motivation to attempt the course. Of course they do better than those who never tried or were excluded in high school.

Mike Creveling

La Plata

You will never hear such a statistic from me. But we now have good data from Texas showing that even when comparing students with equally low standardized test scores, suggesting that they all have academic difficulties, those who have taken an AP course and gotten at least a 2 on the test generally do better in college than those who have not taken AP classes.

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