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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'll admit, I'm not the greatest Latin student. At my school, Latin IV is AP Vergil and Latin V is AP Lit. Although I never made it past IV, it would be a shame to rob students of the chance to further acquaint themselves with the literature and culture we are forever indebted to. The goal of any educational institution, including the College Board, must be to foster learning and creativity across all fields of knowledge. To limit learning such as the College Board is doing by removing the AP Latin Literature test is an egregious encroachment on this fundamental mission of education. As a friend once put it, "You trudge through three years of Ecce Romani so you can finally read Latin written by real Romans. Written the way it was meant to be written. Without that experience, the language truly does become dead."

David Mahin
Student at St. Xavier HS
Cincinnati, OH
I also think it would be a shame to rob students of the opportunity to read these other amazing authors. As a teacher just starting out and working to help my program continue to grow this news is very upseting. I know a number of students may choose to continue a language because they are seeking AP credit. To limit AP strictly to Vergil limits all Latin students seeking AP credit and robs them of the opportunity for success.

Lisa Adams
Batavia H.S.
Batavia, IL
I think this is such a shame. Latin Literature is such an important part of our curriculum.

~Emily Anne Lewis
Pingry School
Martinsville NJ

Bryn Mawr College '07
There are too many ramifications to decide to kill the AP Latin Lit exam quietly. I vote to keep it going! As long as there is even one student in the country to sign up for the exam, it should be available. Learning any subject, but especially a subject that is not required in public school, is an opportunity that lasts a lifetime. We should all fight for opportunities in life. We should all fight for the right and the privilege to seek as much education as possible.

Michelle Larsen
Former student, four-year Latin student
Walt Whitman High School, Montgomery County, Maryland '97
New York University '01
The cancellation of AP Latin Literature is a terrible decision! I hate to think of the impact this is going to have on the profession.
Amy Vail
Assistant Professor of Classics in the Honors College
Baylor University
Nixing the Lit AP will really hurt the literature questions for certamen, which is one of my enduring interests. Keep it around.

Tito Kohout
I was simply devastated when I heard this news! The AP Latin Literature course is crucial to students' understanding of the multi-faceted Roman literary world.

As a student who took both the AP's, I was fascinated by Vergil's epic, but felt an enduring *personal* connection to the classical past when reading Catullus and Ovid for the literature exam. Each course covered a different type of literature, which is why it is essential that *both* AP's continue to be offered to high school students. How else can we encourage students to continue to explore the literature, culture, history, and society of ancient Rome at the college level, if we don't provide them with a strong and well-rounded foundation in Latin literature in their high school years?!

Although still in college myself, I intend to teach middle-school and high-school Latin one day. I will continue to fight for this cause, even if the AP Literature exam itself no longer exists, because I believe that a broader knowledge of Latin literature is in the best interest of our students and of future generations of classicists.

Caroline Kersten
alumna, Castilleja School 2003
Brown University 2008
I haven't kept up with all the posts on this topic, so this idea may already have floated, but since College Board is planning to review the entire AP Latin syllabus, would a compromise decision be to add Vergil as one of the authors in the AP Lit wheel, along with the Catullus, Ovid, Horace and Cicero selections (or as a replacement to the author with the lowest number of students)? If students would be allowed to receive 2 AP credits for AP literature, as long as they covered 2 different authors each year (ie: Vergil & Horace one year; Catullus & Ovid the next), then we could keep 2 years of AP instruction at the secondary level, and College Board would technically still only have 1 AP Latin offering. Obviously the current Vergil curriculum would need to be narrowed to a reasonable amount of lines that could be covered in half a year, to allow time for a second author.

Pat Kessler
I think this is a very interesting suggestion... though I quail at the thought of cutting the portions of the Aeneid read back any more than they already have been. (Just read about Camilla - in translation, of course - and miss her greatly!) But it would be, at the very least, an alternative preferable to the College Board's current way of thinking!
I am extremely disappointed to learn of the Educational Testing Service's poor choice to discontinue AP Latin Literature, a course that I know many professors and students alike hold dear in their hearts. Instead of depriving American students of the opportunity to learn more Latin, they should be offering more opportunities to enjoy this rich and exciting language without which current Western thought would be in shambles, and instead discontinue the many mindless activities that they promote. This move by the ETS just further demonstrates and promotes the current lethargic attitude toward education (and Classical education in particular) that unfortunately prevails in America. Instead of wasting our time in frivolous activities, we all should be reading more of the classic authors and not poor writers such as Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman, whose prose and poetry not only reflect a movement away from the classics, but encourage the further development of more such dull thinkers. The ETS is obviously concerned only with their own financial status and not the education of America, because if they did care about American education they would realize that the only thing that really matters anyway is the noble endeavor that is the study of the classics. I seriously question the ETS' ability to run an institution such as this in our country. Perhaps they should acquire better educated leaders, whose concerns reach beyond mere monetary enhancement and popularity which just reflects the confused modern society in which we live. If anyone wishes to stage a coup, I will gladly join the ranks.

Thomas Moore
I'd like to add my name to this petition. I love the Latin lit curriculum and don't want the classics to lose any more ground than they already have.
I most likely agree with much of what has already been said. I'm currently taking the AP Latin Literature curriculum at my high school, and am planning to take the AP exam for it. I am looking forward to Vergil next year, but Catullus and Ovid have given me countless fun, enjoyable, and hilarious experiences. Although teachers who want to teach this poet badly enough still will, there may be less incentive for certain students to take it without an AP exam and credit.

Lena Davis
Lakota East High School

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