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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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Please add my name to the petition! Chad Timm, Ridge High School, Basking Ridge, NJ
The AP Latin Literature program should be kept alive. Teachers and students deserve a curricular choice, which best fits their situation and desires. The decision to eliminate this program is motivated by greed, not by educational merit. Despite my protest, my school has eliminated all AP programs so that the teachers may design their own college level curricula for their high school students. If schools realize that money, not education, is the driving force behind these AP programs, maybe they will eliminate all AP programs also.

Jamie Meyer
Crossroads School, Santa Monica, California
Having taught both Latin Literature and Vergil, I have a great deal of fondness for both - I appreciate the flexibility of the Literature syllabus, while Vergil is one of my favorite authors ever. (Were I stranded on a desert island, one of my three books would be a text of his opera.) Still, I have been looking forward to alternating AP syllabi from year to year (as many who have posted here), and am now left at loose ends. My rising seniors elected to take the Vergil syllabus this coming year (the first year with a full AP class at this school, where I founded the Latin program just three years ago). What are my rising juniors to do the following year without the option of AP Latin Literature? Should they take what would appear to be a step down by going from an AP course to some sort of "Latin V Honors"? And looking ahead, why are we to deprive ambitious students who wish to pursue Latin to the fullest of the opportunity to do so? (Not we, of course, but rather the College Board.) For that matter, why should the same be done to French? Are we to direct even more students into Spanish (a useful language, to be sure, but then decision based solely on utility would lead to a death of art, theater, music, and the like in modern society) once it is the only language to offer two AP curricula? As everyone else, I decry the seemingly abrupt and unheralded decision by the College Board - not to mention their way of "announcing" it. The email I (as I am sure everyone) received was titled with a reference to an "important change" for the 2009-2010 academic year. A change is a modification. It is not a deletion. Their email then proceeded to herald their planned triumphs for "improvement" of the Vergil syllabus, before finally mentioning their plan to eliminate Latin Literature. Shame on them for trying to slip this one past us.

While I admire the suggestion put forward to replace AP Latin with an ACL/APA sponsored program, I do wonder at how broadly it would be accepted by colleges. Personally, I'd be willing to do some grading of the AP Latin Literature exam for less money than they usually offer if it would help keep it around. Or even better, let's trim some of those bonuses that the fat cat administrators at the College Board get, eh? They're clearly not earning their money, if their job is (as it should be) to support and promote the advancement of learning at the high school level. Culpa eorum, non nostra.

Bryan W. Lockett
Latin Teacher
Fort Worth Country Day School
Fort Worth TX
Definitely add me to the list!

April M. Graham
Latin Instructor, Carroll Senior High School, Southlake, Texas
Please add my name to the petition.

Diane Sorrel
University School of Nashville
Nashville, Tn.
Check out Ginny Lindzey's online reply to the Washington Post's online article on this issue. She says it all better than I could!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/03/AR2...
Seems to me that limiting AP choices can only lead to fewer AP enrollments. My students like the opportunity to study Vergil one year/semester and Catullus-Ovid in another. Perhaps I'm paranoid, but it seems to me that the College Board (which claims that it is "non-profit") is looking to get out of languages they perceive to be "marginal," like Latin, in favor of more popular (i.e., revenue generating) languages. Jack Brewster, Latin teacher, Strath Haven High School, Wallingford, PA
My AP Vergil students were stunned to hear that the AP Latin Literature exam would be discontinued after 2009. They truly enjoyed the Catullus/Horace syllabus and expressed their shock and sadness to hear that many of their younger siblings would never have the opportunity for the same rigorous study of Latin literature.
Salve:

I was truly saddened to read the news regarding the cancellation of AP Latin Literature. In a world where the future stands before us every day hungering for knowledge while our own numbers in the industry are disappearing due to budget cuts. Now the cuts are reflect the unkindest cut of all. The very literature and its authors who nurtured this country and the entire western world!

Our field has already survived the hit to the credential process. What's next?

Melissa A. Mack
Instructor of Latin
JSerra Catholic High School
I have been building my Latin program for the last five years. I finally have enough students retaining in the Level III and IV levels to command the possibility for an AP Latin Literature course. The College Board should recognize the importance of a Classical Education, especially at the High School Level! Obviously, the College Board of Trustees must have some new members that never took Latin in high school or college!

Timothy Soran
Judge Memorial Catholic High School
Salt Lake City, UT
As Diogenes said, "The foundation of every state is the education of its youth."
Please add my name to the petition. I am quite bothered by this decision. I do IB as well as AP so I work with Vergil, Catullus, and Ovid. My students prefer Ovid and Catullus. While I personally prefer Vergil, I have found getting students through the Vergil syllabus for the IB test tedious where teaching both Catullus and Ovid is fun for everyone. If the gods favor me, this decision will be repealed.

Kristi McCord
Columbus Alternative High School
Columbus, Ohio

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