AP silliness

Is there any disinterested party who can tell us just what the AP consisits of? Two things I’ve had contact with:
The Latin AP has little to do with Latin. Most reading is in English and knowledge of Latin is limited to translating and grammar.
The new Russian AP was presented at ACTFL several years ago and it was clear that grammar had been excised; it was all about being able to communicate in Russian. But I don’t know if it was ever implemented.

When we talk about AP, we often hear things like, “Oh, they’ve changed it and it’s quite communicative now.” But who is saying that, someone who thinks communicative = oral language? Is it someone who is invested in AP? Is it someone who knows only that AP embodies some sort of competition and they cannot resist an opportunity to best someone else?

I shudder everytime I have to select the “best” language X student of the year. One teacher told me to choose the one with the highest grades. Interestingly, these same teachers will tell you they hate the setting of one student above another and that grades do not begin to represent what language students can do. How do we account for this discrepancy, this disconnect?

People are not logical, that’s how. To convince yourself of that, get in your car and drive onto the major surface streets or the freeways of any town, city, urban or suburban complex and count the number of insane people you encouner. It’s about 65% of the drivers on the road. Am I right?

These are the people who tell us they think it’s terrible how hard-working kids who love the language don’t get recognized for their learning while the drudges who could care less about the language reap all the rewards. Yet here they are at the end of the year, passing out the ribbons and medals with big grins. Then they change lanes without signaling.

Oh well.

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