Izzy Burks | Staff Writer
AP Government has always been a one-semester course, but next year it is changing to a year-long class. Due to its crammed, fast-paced schedule, teacher Cale Hoover and social studies department head Cindy Cullom decided to stretch it out.
“We’ve been discussing this for a few years because College Board has always recommended AP Government be a full year,” Hoover said. “The social studies classes have been going through redesigns, and in November, I went to an AP conference at Butler and started learning about how things had changed. That was kind of this fighting factor I needed to convince myself that I needed to come back and work to get this changed.”
Because of this change, the class’s schedule will be at a slower pace, giving students longer to learn and retain each lesson.
“In the past, we covered 17 chapters,” Hoover said. “The concern is that we were basically teaching the material in 13 or 14 weeks because in the last few weeks of school they’re taking the AP test. This gives us the chance to take a deeper look into things now; I think it will be a better course for the kids.”
Along with the slower pace, there will also be other changes, including a few standards that have been altered.
“The college board made the requirements more specific,” Hoover said. “Just as one example, we are now required to teach 10 specific primary sources, and in the past, I only taught about half of them. Some of them are really challenging, so it’s good that we get extra time. There are more requirements that are more specific, too. The other major change is that in the past, there were four FRQs on the AP test, all formatted the same. Now there are four different types of writing that we have to teach.”
Juniors who planned on taking AP Government for one semester now have to plan on it being all year. Hoover feels that the class being year round will attract more juniors because the pace will be less intimidating.
“I thought it was frustrating because now I have to adjust my schedule accordingly, but it’s also nice because the information will be delivered at a slower pace,” junior Athulya Nair said. “I was still determined to take the class, but I know of other people who chose to take the one-semester non-AP class instead because of it.”
Some juniors have chosen to drop the class, but many see it in a positive way.
“I think the class will definitely be less stressful since the material is more spread out,” Nair said. “We will probably be able to focus more on important topics which will be good.”
AP Government becoming year-long means more time to learn and a deeper focus, and it may show in the number of next year’s seniors who take the class.