Just as La Cañada High School’s late start began as an idea and became implemented this year, the notion that there should be a cap on the number of AP classes that a student may take seems to be yet another controversial idea that is being considered by the district. In my view, an AP cap would be a mistake
Here are few issues with this idea:
First, an AP cap goes against our core values. La Cañada Unified School District states on its website that it is “a learning community committed to personal growth and academic excellence.” However, an AP cap prevents students from growing academically by disregarding students’ wish to dedicate their time to learn as much as they could during their high school career. If this community was truly “committed to personal growth,” as stated above, they shouldn’t limit the amount of AP classes a student can take per year. We have honors and AP classes because everyone learns at a different pace. So why not let the students who are capable of taking higher level classes excel at their own pace?
Secondly, the school’s primary objective is for implementing this policy isn’t clear. It is rumored that the main reason for drafting this new policy is for students’ health. While it’s ideal that the school cares about the health of the students, it is unlikely that this policy would directly benefit students’ health. The most important thing that the school fails to realize is that motivated students who truly value taking challenging classes, and taking things to the next level, do not mind the consequences that come with it. So, then why should the school drag down those who have the capacity to take as many AP classes as they want? The AP cap doesn’t just limit the amount of difficult classes a student can take; it limits students’ rights to determine their own capabilities and their classes.
The school would be naive to think that the students will give up on the additional AP classes that they took away from them. Even now, many students are taking AP classes that La Cañada High School doesn’t offer after school at community colleges to. So, if they cap the AP classes, students, rather than going home and sleeping earlier, would probably rush to other institutions to prepare for AP exams outside of LCHS, which makes this whole idea, unfortunately, counterintuitive.
In addition, the AP cap eliminates the chance for the students who are determined to shine during the college admissions process. Though the colleges would know that the number AP classes one could take is limited at La Cañada High School, it will be a disadvantage to the LCHS students when the colleges start comparing them to students from other schools where students are allowed to take more AP classes.
It’s good that the administration of the school is working hard to make thoughtful changes for the students for better school environment. However, some changes, like this one, could be detrimental.