Maine to expand online AP course offerings

PORTLAND (AP) — Maine is increasing funding and expanding offerings for a program that provides free online Advanced Placement courses to students who can't get them at their local high school.

There are currently about 200 students taking 17 courses in Maine's AP4ALL program.

The Portland Press Herald reported that for the 2013-2014 academic year, funding is increasing from nearly $137,000 to more than $198,000, and the state is hoping to enroll 420 students in 21 courses.

AP4ALL was funded from 2007 to 2010 with federal money. It went on hiatus for a year when that money ran out. The state relaunched it at the urging of the Legislature's Education Committee.

The courses are taught by Maine teachers, paid an extra $5,000 a year. Books and materials are loaned to students.

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One of the sadder results of NCLB in most school systems is that the resources that were previously used for gifted programs pretty much vanished into trying to raise reading and math scores for students at the other end of the spectrum. As a result advanced math and science courses disappeared as more and more students got dumped into remedial programs. For all the complaining about the public schools, I think the problem is not the teachers, the administrators, the parents, the unions, the budget etc. , it's the curriculum. In trying to get from a 19th century to a 20th century curriculum schools started trying to teach everything to everybody.The result is a curriculum that is an inch deep and a mile wide. That no longer works because knowledge has expanded too much and because in the 21st century people want choices rather than a one size fits all approach. Instead of funding private schools to give students choices, the public schools should be retrofitted to give students and parents a choice. It would be cheaper and would result in students who are more motivated to learn and would receive deeper knowledge rather than wide exposure.


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