I'm shocked to read and comprehend that New Bedford High School is only 1 of 2 area high schools, and one of fifteen schools statewide involved in the AP Capstone program. Dartmouth High is the other local school.

I'm not so appalled that successful completion of AP Capstone provides the student with a Capstone diploma. In order to earn the diploma, students must complete and pass a minimum of six AP courses.  [By the way, does a student really need two high school diplomas?]

I am amazed to learn what AP Capstone teaches. It's laced with AP course offerings that instruct high schoolers how to read and interpret writings, how to perform research, analyze, write and polish their verbal skills. This, my friend and taxpayer, is an AP program.

These are invaluable learning skills. They should be implemented within a good district's curriculum by Middle school. In fact, each student should be introduced to reading and learning research plus analytical skills by 4th or 5th grade. By the time they enter high school students should be well grounded on how to interpret all types of readings and arguments. This isn't asking too much. If schools would stop this crap of teaching to the tests, kids could weekly create and deliver oral presentations. AP Capstone frameworks were mandatory, not an option, pre-MCAS/PARCC. Yours truly learned them prior to high school.

On the surface AP Capstone sounds terrific. It's my sincere hope other district high schools are avoiding AP Capstone, because they already incorporate real reading, analyzing, research, writing and oral interpretation skills within their General curriculum. Shame on New Bedford High for not doing the same.

I'm just curious. If the student passes AP Capstone, but fails 10th grade MCAS, does s/he still receive the AP Capstone diploma, or a Certificate of Capstone Completion?

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