Although the number of students taking Advanced Placement classes in the District has gone up dramatically, many fail the AP exam. But there’s a way to ensure that kids get a rigorous education without putting them into classes they’re not prepared for.

Partly due to a push to increase minority and low-income participation, the number of students taking AP classes has nearly doubled across the country in the past 10 years. In D.C., the number of students has grown 45 percent since 2010, according to the D.C. Public Schools.

As access to AP classes has broadened, more students are failing the AP exams. While some say that students who fail the exam nevertheless benefit from taking a rigorous class, others argue that students who are unprepared and don’t get enough support can’t get anything meaningful out of the experience.

But there’s a way to give students a rigorous education without forcing them into water that’s over their heads. Instead of teaching them how to fill in bubbles on multiple-choice tests, we need to make sure they truly understand the material that’s put in front of them, in every subject and at every grade level. And the best way to do that is to get them to write about it, in a meaningful and structured way.

[Continue reading Natalie Wexler’s post at Greater Greater Education.]

Natalie Wexler is the editor of Greater Greater Education and a member of the board of the D.C. Scholars Public Charter School. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.