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ETHS Board OKs 3 new AP courses

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The Evanston Township High School Board Monday night approved the addition of three new Advanced Placement courses, to be offered next school year, bringing the total number of AP courses to 29.

The three are AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, and AP United States Government and Politics.

The two new physics classes, which had been presented to the board for discussion at its Nov.18 meeting, will replace the current AP Physics B program, following a revamp by the College Board, which certifies AP courses for college credit.

The new course on government and politics is a combination of U.S. history and American government and politics.

It includes the constitutional underpinnings of the U.S. government, political beliefs and behaviors, interest groups and mass media, public policy, civil rights, and civil liberties, among other topics.

Administrators said the course is aimed at increasing opportunities for all students while attracting more first-time AP students, particularly among African American and Latino students.

Dale Leibforth, ETHS Advanced Placement Recruitment & Retention Coordinator, noted that the government course nationally is the fourth most popular course among African American students and fifth most popular course among Latino and white students.

“This course is definitely a course that we want to bring to ETHS that will deeply engage all of our students at a high level,” he said.

AP courses are designed to give students a taste of the rigor of college classes, and many colleges either grant credit for successful completion of these courses in high school or waive requirements for taking introductory college classes in those subjects, based upon the student’s scores on standardized tests administered by the College Board.

In the spring of 2013, 850 ETHS students (more than half of the juniors and seniors) took 1,927 AP exams, reflecting an all-time high for the school.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio stations and business-oriented magazines.

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