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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 let the “powers that be” know that I absolutely do want to protest the decision! My students love the Catullus/Ovid selections, but they plod and struggle with the Vergil. I have alternated the Vergil with the Catullus/Ovid each year for the past twelve years, but I had been considering dropping the Vergil for that reason. If it stands, this will probably be the end of my AP Latin program at Westlake High School in Waldorf, MD.

Carol Donohue
Good point--if it's a decision based on cost, and it will force teachers to drop AP entirely, then that revenue stream is gone.

But since they claim they're subsidizing AP Latin anyway, maybe that's the ultimate goal of the evil plot--cancel the more pleasant syllabus, leaving the plodder to wither away and thereby eliminate AP Latin entirely, and go on to MAKE MONEY.
After starting a new program at a new school last year, I'll finally have my first group of students ready to tackle AP Latin Literature next year, with the expectation of alternating between AP Latin Lit and AP Vergil from year to year. It is exceedingly frustrating to finally get to this point, to plan my curriculum, work on my AP syllabus, etc. to have it all pulled at the snap of someone's fingers. Unfortunately, because of district politics, AP is necessary to compete with the modern languages in my district, the 7th largest in the US. Unfortunately, too many students go the AP route to pad their school GPAs in the belief that it will open the door to their university of choice. Until the point comes when the district drops all AP level courses - which won't happen as long as our school board continues to provide our superintendent with a bonus predicated on how many students ENROLL (notice I didn't say PASS) in AP courses, Latin needs to be able to offer more than just Vergil to stay in "the game."

Pat Kessler
Newsome HS
Lithia, FL
I currently teach 7 different preps, including both Latin APs and both levels of IB. I have repeatedly stated how much I detest the IB curriculum but now, it is looking pretty good. It offers a wide variety of authors from which to choose, similar to the AP Lit. I have now been encouraging my students to take the IB course and thus still read the same authors. Depending upon the college they will attend, they may or may not receive credit for the IB class. For that matter, I am seriously considering just dropping the AP and teaching only all IB. A decision needs to be made very quickly. Students are about to enroll in classes and this has affected their attitude toward Latin, and AP in particular. Since I am the only Latin teacher, as are many of you out there, I need to make decisions now and plan my summer prep time accordingly. Even if Lit does get reinstated, it may happened to late for AP Latin to be salvaged at my school. Enrollment will definitely decline and thus, my job will be eliminated as well. I have had many students become classics majors at numerous Ivy league schools. AP Lit was the course that influenced most of them. There is no doubt that this will have a huge impact upon college programs.

Ellie Rhodes
Christ Church Episcopal School
Greenville, SC
Fantastic, she says with acid dripping from the tongue.

So Cicero, the voice of reasoned yet impassioned oratory, will have no cogent argument for study any longer. Sad enough that in these last decades he has faded from the standard curriculum. But at least in Latin Literature there was a reason to continue with him--however many of you may have chosen to ignore him in favor of yet more poetry.
And Latin, a hard enough sell as it is--you just can't use that one with the grocery store check-out clerk, not here nor in Europe--had at least the cachet coming from having not one, but two AP courses.
Ah, the great levelling instinct.
Louise G. Wesson
North Penn School District
Lansdale PA
Or Catullus, who speaks of love and betrayal, is someone that high school students can't relate to, either. I look to the next two years with trepidation, having never taught Vergil, and I don't cherish the prospect of keeping up student enthusiasm for epic poetry. I can see how the Dido cycle could relate, but the rest of it?
Elise Montgomery
Trussville City Schools
I start Latin I by showing the movie "Born Yesterday", which is a modern version of Pygmalion, and end Latin 4AP by translating Ovid's Pygmalion. I teach Vergil in Latin 5 when students are more prepared for the massive amount of translation they will need to do. Of the two syllabi, my students enjoy Catullus and Ovid much more than Vergil. In fact, many students tell me that they fall in love with Latin while translating the familiar stories from Ovid. I feel that the move to abolish the Latin Literature test from the AP program is a grave mistake.

Lyn Mugleston
Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy
Coeur d'Alene, ID
This is a major disappointment for our Latin program. Students should have the opportunity to participate in the Latin Literature exam. Many of our students spend several years working up to the level where they can be successful in this area. Why limit the choices for students at this point?

Theresa Thompson
HomeSource
Eugene OR
What an unfortunate development. =(

Cassie Doyle Merritt
Canyon Springs High School
North Las Vegas, NV
I have always felt that learning Latin should be about the literature. Confining AP study to one author, wonderful as Vergil is, doesn't make any sense.
Don Lee
Latin teacher
Wasatch Academy
Mt. Pleasant, UT
With Latin growing as an area of study in the United States, it is necessary to have options for our best students to demonstrate their best work. Today the United States has fallen behind other countries in regards to our educational practices. The answer is not to dumb down, but to challenge our students more. Our students will rise to the challenge, but we need the tools. Give us the tools.

Brian Geffre
Shanley (Catholic) High School
Fargo ND

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