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AP Latin Literature Cancelled -- Please Add Your Name

Salve,

As many of you know, AP Latin Literature is being cancelled, although AP Vergil will remain in place for the immediate future. Please read the letter from the AP in the news section on the right and the letter from Ronnie Ancona in the Blog, and if you feel strongly about keeping the AP Latin Literature program alive and active in the United States, please add a comment to this post with your name and school affiliation attached. I will collect these in preparation for what is sure to be a counter-offensive by some of the leading lights in US Classics education. Thanks for adding your names to the list.

Andrew Reinhard
Director of eLearning
Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers

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I have little to add to the earlier posts, especially Ronnie Ancona's letter. I'd just stress that the cancellation of the AP Latin Literature exam would be a terrible blow to Latin instruction at the college level as well as at the secondary school level. I hope that many individuals, together with the American Classical League and the American Philological Association, will make the case to the College Board.

Bob Kaster
Department of Classics
Princeton University
The announcement of the College Board's decision in today's Washington Post states that the Latin Lit Exam is one of the least popular AP choices (one of 4 exams with the fewest enrolled) and that this is the reason for the cut. We need to convince them otherwise.

In addition to the "brick and mortar" classes that will be affected by the cuts, online AP courses will also be impacted. Last year, for example, Virtual Virginia Distance Learning invested a great deal of time, effort, and funding for a colleague and me to develop the curriculum for an online AP Latin Literature course.

I would rather have the choice of authors that the two AP Latin courses provide than have all the funding poured support for the Vergil course alone.
Melinda Burke, Atlanta Girls' School

The survival of many Latin programs depend on the ability of teachers to combine levels. The dual AP exams allow teachers to do this and still provide a rigorous curriculum. The loss of the literature exam not only will greatly impact Latin programs across the nation, it will necessitate that teachers choose between keeping programs alive and burning out through multiple preparations. This is not a well thought out move on the part of the College Board.
The seeming caprice of this decision by the AP undermines its credibility as an institution committed to the intellectual stimulation of high school students. The AP has a responsibility to the high school curricula it helped to build!

Jeanne Neumann
Professor and Chair
Classics Department
Davidson College
Davidson North Carolina
Ah, Jeanne, what an excellent point!!--well worth quoting in the Washington Post article Judy Hallett is working to negotiate.
I agree!

Ronnie Ancona
I think the simplicity of this statement speaks for itself, yet it is worth reiterating. *AP has a responsibility to the high school curricula it helped to build.* We are seeing an era of dissolution of quality teaching not because there aren't quality teachers out there, but because at every turn bean counters are cutting budgets and programs. The assault on quality education has to stop. It's criminal to see it coming from an institution such as College Board which is, as Jeanne says, supposed to be committed to the intellectual stimulation of high school students.
It is disturbing in so many ways that it would be impossible to describe them all in such a small space, but here are a few. I am perturbed that I spent time getting my course audit syllabus prepared only to teach it one more year before the class is cancelled—plus like others have said, wasted time and money trying to better prepare myself for teaching the course. This will also cause all kinds of problems with curriculum at my school… What do we do with seniors who have already had the AP Vergil exam?

I am also offended because this could be interpreted as the “dumbing down” of the College Board. AP is made to challenge students and truly prepare them for college no matter what their future major is. Getting rid of the Literature seems to indicate that they think Catullus and the others are too hard—or they are only concerned about money (which should be considered an immense blow to their legitimacy). I think the cancelling of the French literature exam also clearly shows this problem. I agree with my colleagues about losing the mental challenge of testing other authors and enjoying and experiencing Latin literature in depth for the sake of it.

Is this also saying that we should start preparing to lose Vergil as well? Does French also stand to lose their place in the languages of the educated?

Jerard S. White
Franklin Road Academy
Nashville, TN
Andrew,
Thanks for providing the venue for discussing this. What a craven decision this is, particularly after the Audit and the introduction of the Cicero syllabus, which some of us labored mightly, and at our own expense to prepare for.

By way of a testimonial, I had the very good fortune of taking a college class based on the syllabus with Dr. Grace Starry West at the University of Dallas, and count it among one of my favorite classes to have ever taken. It was one of the classes which really spurred me on to continue the study of the language. I am truly sorry that high school students in future will not get such an opportunity,
I'm sorry I forgot to add my name to this: Albert Gunn; James Madison High School; Vienna, Virginia
Kelly Ryan, Upper School Latin Teacher, Athens Academy
Dr. Rachel Norwood, Athens Academy Foreign Language Department Head
Jennie Luongo
Latin Department Chair
St. Andrew's Episcopal School
Austin, TX

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