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Breaking News: College Board statement on AP Latin Literature, Sept. 18, 2008

New from the College Board:

AP Latin Literature
We at the College Board value the study of Latin just as we value the study of other subjects ranging from biology to German to art history, for each of which we offer one high-quality AP Examination. We want to provide the same level of support for Latin as we do for other AP subject reas, but this entails focusing our efforts on one rather than two separate P Latin courses. It is the opinion of our World Languages Academic Advisory Committee that it will be better to embed a variety of literature in the one AP Latin course we will sustain, rather than having it focus solely on Vergil. Accordingly, in fall 2008 we plan to convene a college faculty colloquium composed of professors from top classics departments ationwide to advise us on how we can make the remaining AP Latin program the best possible capstone experience for secondary school students seeking credit, placement, and further Latin studies in college. After the faculty colloquium, we will convene AP Latin teachers to discuss the needs of secondary Latin programs and recommendations for program sequencing during the AP Latin transition period.

In summary, the two existing AP Latin courses will remain in place for the May 2009 exam, and AP Latin:

Vergil will be the only AP Latin Exam in May 2010. No sooner than May 2011, we will strive to offer a capstone AP Latin Exam experience that provides teachers with an appropriate spectrum of Latin texts, and as much choice as possible. Any and all changes to the curriculum will be announced well in advance, and we will make every effort to support AP Latin teachers in their efforts to deliver a new AP Latin program.

(Thanks to Carin Green of CAMWS' Committee for the Promotion of Latin for this news)

Views: 82

Comment by Charles Umiker on September 18, 2008 at 1:13pm
I'm curious whether students will be able to take the AP twice--i.e. junior and senior year--since there will be so much choice involved.
Comment by Krystal Kubichek on September 18, 2008 at 4:31pm
I'm curious whether or not it's going to be a constantly changing exam. Are they going to do separate sequences of authors each year? If so, I can just imagine the nightmare of trying to get textbooks!
Comment by Charles Umiker on September 18, 2008 at 7:53pm
Reading the statement more carefully, I don't see any evidence that the exam will change "from year to year" or that the college board has been "moved" in any way from their original plans. It sounds like there is going to be a single exam that will probably include Vergil and at least one other author.
Comment by Erica Budd on September 18, 2008 at 8:50pm
I would also wonder how AP is going to handle its audit program with this change. Any AP Latin course that would need approval for September 2011 would need to be submitted for approval in the spring of 2011 before the course is even taught. Depending on the timing of notification of the authors, this may be difficult for teachers to develop a a course syllabus to submit to their audit for approval. Perhaps they will consider a year reprieve for those of us who will be teaching the new AP Latin during this first year?
Comment by Ronnie Ancona on September 19, 2008 at 8:39am
There is little, if anything, that is new here in this last statement from the College Board. While there has been discussion about the new solo exam not being limited to Vergil, as far as I know nothing has been decided thus far. There is a college faculty colloquium coming up at the end of October and I gather a secondary level teacher gathering of some sort after. I doubt that any plans for the "new exam" will be made until at least after those two events. I continue to sympathize with those of you who in responsible fashion try to plan ahead.
Comment by Andrew Reinhard on September 19, 2008 at 9:01am
This e-mail just in from Carin Green regarding one of the speakers for October's meeting:

Dear Carin,

Just a follow-up note to the recent mailing that was forwarded to me by Jackie Elliott concerning the AP Latin exam. I have been invited to participate in the colloquium organized by the College Board in Chicago at the end of October. I would welcome any input from you or others (please feel free to pass this on) about how to achieve the most desirable outcome in the impending changes to the exam.

All the best,


Peter E. Knox
Department of Classics, 248 UCB
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309
Tel. (303) 492-6257; Fax (303) 492-1026
Email: Peter.Knox@Colorado.edu

Green writes in her e-mail:


As you will see below, Peter Knox has been invited to be at the colloquium on the Latin AP exam next month. Please let him know of any of your concerns, and please also give his letter and his request the widest circulation possible. The more information he has, the better he an serve the cause.


Comment by Ronnie Ancona on September 19, 2008 at 10:41am
I, too, will be attending the AP Latin Faculty Colloquium in Chicago. Many of you have already expressed your thoughts on the issue of the AP changes. If you have additional comments you'd like me to have in mind before the meeting, please feel free to pass them on.

E-mail is best to: rancona@hunter.cuny.edu

All best,


Ronnie Ancona
Professor of Classics
Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY
Comment by Andrew Reinhard on September 25, 2008 at 4:18pm
I am posting this comment on behalf of a teacher who wishes to remain anonymous:

First of all, the College Board could continue to fund any of these examinations. They are a huge cash cow. If you look at their 990 form (the first page of which I have attached) you will see that as of 2006 they had assets of 361 million dollars. This is information that is available to the public, since they claim to be a non-profit. Just imagine for one minute all the great things they could do with that money! They could support AP programs and training for teachers and students in inner city schools. They could complete fund the $125,000 per teacher school that you talked about.

I obtained these documents from guidestar.org, one of several organizations that provides this information. Please feel free to use this information if you wish. E.T.S. is not quite in the College Board's league. They only have a surplus in the 271 million dollar range. I am not sure why they would cancel important educational opportunities.

Second of all, the College Board is playing the old bait and switch. We are no longer talking about preserving the two exams. Instead, they have focused everyone's attention on the "CAPSTONE" exam. Who are we or they to say what a CAPSTONE is? My CAPSTONE may be your tombstone.
Comment by Andrew Reinhard on September 25, 2008 at 4:29pm
Sorry! I forgot to add the attachment referenced in the above comment:
Comment by Andrew Reinhard on October 20, 2008 at 3:48pm
I attended the Illinois Classical Conference annual meeting at Augustana College on October 10-12, and sat in on the session that focused on the next-steps with saving or changing AP Latin Literature and how ICC/AMICI might be able to help. ICC President Alice Mulberry brought the group up to speed on where things currently are with AP. Most teachers attending the session did not know about the Nov. 1-2 meeting between the College Board and college Classics professors to be held at an undisclosed location in Chicago. Mulberry read from a recent letter that she received from Sherwin Little, President of ACL that discussed this pending meeting and that there would be a second meeting in mid-November, this time between the College Board and “authorized” AP Latin teachers.

Apparently, the College Board is inviting only authorized AP Latin teachers (those who have formal accreditation with AP) to attend and discuss more about what will happen to AP Latin. Several teachers voiced their concerns that many Latin teachers teach AP Latin (which they call honors Latin) to prepare their students for the AP test. These teachers are going to be excluded from these meetings because they are not AP-authorized teachers.

It was also brought to the group’s attention that there is currently no Latinist on the College Board’s World Languages Committee.

It was moved and seconded that the ICC and AMICI draft a joint resolution to send to the College Board in advance of the November meetings to call for a seat on the World Languages Committee and to have the future AP Latin courses alternate between Vergil one year and choice authors the next year. I believe that the resolution has been sent as of this writing.

Andrew Reinhard


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