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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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Having taken both the AP Lit and AP Vergil course, I feel it is a shame to deny either to students. I personally found the Literature course much more enjoyable and educational. By reading multiple authors, I felt that I was getting a better sense of Latin as a whole, rather than just one author. Furthermore, if I had not had the opportunity to take the AP Latin Lit course, I would not have been able to continue taking Latin in my senior year of high school, which would likely have discouraged me from becoming a Greek and Roman Studies major, as I now am. Please do not get rid of this course.

Victoria Adcock
Rhodes College, Class of 2011
Dear Andrew,
I am adding my name to the list of people who are very upset that the College Board is dropping the Latin Literature AP course. I have taught both the Lit. course and the Vergil course. Over the years I have preferred teaching the AP Lit course, and I think that my students have preferred the AP Lit course.

First, if the College Board is bound and determined to cancel one of the tests, I wish they would call for a vote on which one to cancel.

Second, I hope they reconsider their decision to cancel any of the tests. Having two AP tests has allowed many schools to develop extremely rich Latin programs, and it just seems a shame to jeopardize that.
The College Board should recognize that, in today's competitive climate, having the two AP Latin courses
has been a great incentive for many students to dig in and accomplish a tremendous amount in order to
distinguish themselves academically. It is a shame that the College Board does not recognize that more fully, and that the College Board does not have more of a sense of responsibility to continue programs and exams that Latin teachers are telling them are, in fact, valuable.

I hope that the College Board listens to all of our voices.

Jeffrey Beer
I'm adding my name to the petition as well -

Kathleen Fowler, Fauqier High School, Warrenton, VA

I don't think the College Board has the best interests of our students at heart with this decision. Why take away a program that is growing, and getting more students interested in the language and culture of Rome? There are many things I could say about this, but they have already been said, and more eloquently than I could say them.

On a more selfish note, having the two exams has enabled us as teachers to play to our strengths and loves. Fauquier High has two Latin teachers. I enjoy reading Catullus and Ovid more than I do Vergil; my colleage is the opposite. We were just beginning to offer both exams, and were planning to switch off every other year, each working with the authors we enjoy more, and are more comfortable in teaching.

I hope that the College Board listens to the very well-reasoned arguments being put forth for keeping the program.

Kathleen Fowler
As a former member of the AP Latin Exam Development Committee, I am shocked to learn
of the cancellation of the AP Latin Literature. I wish to add my name to the petion being
drafted to urge that this decision not be put into effect as it will help to deny scores of American
high school students the opportunity to study the works of such significant authors as Cicero,
Catullus, Horace and Ovid. What a disgrace.

Leah Johnson, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Ancient History
John Cabot University
Via della Lungara, 233
00165 Rome, Italy

email: ljohnson@johncabot.edu
Hello, all:

I spent a terrific week last summer with very dedicated others grading AP Vergil, and I'm very disappointed to think of losing the chance to grade AP Latin Literature. It's more disappointing to think of all the future interest in classics that this change will kill. As other posters have suggested, this seems like a reversible decision. Let's try.

Ben DeSmidt
Asst. Prof. of Classics and Great Ideas
Carthage College
Please add my name to the list of those outraged by this move. ETS is effectively driving the curriculum by doing this. They know exactly what the effect will be, and they had to know how horrendous the timing was. There is no excuse for their action and it needs to be rescinded.
Tim Winters
Austin Peay State Univ.
Clarksville, TN
As a student in my first year of Latin, I can personally attest to the benefit of the classics. Since September 2007, I have explored the grammatical side of Latin language as well as the aspect of Roman culture and history. Being a dedicated student to Latin, even so early, I know I would jump at the opportunity to take a test that so many have already had the chance to take if only to explore Latin Literature more in depth. How can we qualify a similar honors class as equal to what is currently AP Latin Literature without an equal weight as other "advanced placement" classes? It is crucial to future Latin students' interests to open up as many doors into Latin just to keep it alive, and by shutting it, we are killing the study of language.
Please add my name to the list. As someone who teaches at the university level, I know how valuable this kind of preparation is for higher study of Latin.
James Uden
Classics Department, Columbia University,
New York, NY.
I was aghast when I read the email from the College Board and I was saddened that such an important decision was reached seemingly without consultation or research into its impact.

Admittedly, part of this is for selfish reasons. I truly enjoy the Latin Literature syllabus and the instruction of this course is a highlight in my teaching day. Looking out into my classroom I also see the joy that it brings my students. They actually like the syllabus and they enjoy the rich variety within it as well as the vivid palette of human experience it offers. Indeed, the last activity that we do before starting AP is to research the offerings, have the students look at the writings and the author and to select the AP syllabus based on their preferences – Latin Literature is always chosen. Pedagogically, the varied poems allow for differentiation of approach and assessment and lends itself well to a variety of rich and engaging classroom activities.

That is not to denigrate the Vergil syllabus in any way. Vergil is an essential piece of Latin literature and absolutely should be studied. It has immense literary worth and is also open to engaging teaching practices. This is an important work that demands the attention of Latin learners.

My objection is to the imposition of this choice on students and teachers after such a long history as the successful culmination of a course of study at the high school level. My objection is that because of this decision only one author in the Latin corpus is deemed worthy enough for advanced study. My objection is that this decision negates the time, energy, and resources that so many educators from all levels have dedicated to developing courses, completing course audits, writing textbooks, and developing coherent and articulated Latin I through AP programs.

It is sad that the College Board has come to this decision that will take a significant part of the corpus out of high schools. Currently, students who take first the Latin Literature and then Vergil approach it with richer backgrounds for its study. Student who take only Latin Literature enter college with a working knowledge of a wider variety of poetic conventions. In the future, this will not be the case and the impact of this decision will have an effect on all Latin curricula both in the K-12 arena as well as in higher education. Granted, these authors may be moved to other levels, but at a time when education is continually stressed by budgetary and time constraints, this may not be a viable possibility.

I would implore the College Board to carefully read the passionate and informed contributions of all of my Classics colleagues in this discussion and in other fora and take time to consider the impact of this decision and to explore other options for maintaining two Latin Advanced Placement Exams.

Respectfully submitted,
Karin Suzadail
Latin Teacher, Owen J. Roberts High School, Pottstown Pennsylvania
Regional Representative for Central Pennsylvania, Classical Association of Atlantic States
A statement from ten former Development Committee Chairpersons and Chief Readers for the AP Latin program was mailed on Wednesday, April 16, 2008, to Trevor Packer, Vice President of the Advanced Placement Program, and to the Trustees of the College Board. An electronic copy was sent to Mr. Packer on Thursday morning, April 17. An information copy of the statement was mailed on Thursday, April 17, to a number of professional organizations and groups involved with the teaching of Latin, Greek, and other languages.

Click below to read the letter Letter to CB Trustees re AP Latin and for the list of signees.
Attachments:
Having taken the AP Latin Literature course under Mrs. Suzadail this year, I know first-hand the linguistic, cultural, and personal and enrichment the program provides. While there is a plethora of information to be found in Vergil, the connections my class has made between the works of Ovid and Catullus this year are invaluable. I feel that the variety found in the work of these poets provides great balance to Vergil, whose epic work, to me, having yet to study it, can seem daunting. Spending ten minutes in class last week to analyze just the fricative consonants in Catullus 30 served as a reminder of the intricacies of the short works of Catullus. Furthermore, some of Ovid's Metamorphoses are primary sources for the tales they tell, a fact which cannot be overlooked.
There is great joy in studying these works of these poets, as well as the orations of Cicero, which are also offered for study in Latin Literature. I feel that College Board has made a terrible mistake and that the AP Latin Literature course should be reinstated for the sake of future AP students who will be denied the privilege I was offered in studying these works.
I am a student currently enrolled in AP Latin Literature and I enjoy the story of the Aeneid, but it really is rather thick and focusing only on one story line for an entire year would be mind numbing. The writings of Catullus and Ovid have been what made the course enjoyable for me and, as much as I love the class, I don't see myself being able to like the Vergil syllabus nearly as much and I possibly might not have taken AP Latin at all.

Kimberly Klee
Owen J. Roberts High School
Pottstown, PA

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