Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Jack Schneider is an assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Mass., and the author of Excellence for All: How a New Breed of Reformers Is Transforming America’s Public Schools (Vanderbilt University Press, 2011).

To the many in the world of education reform, the latest AP Report to the Nation—released recently by the College Board—is cause for celebration on two fronts. The first achievement has to do with equity.  During the program’s early history in the 1960s, Advanced Placement courses were generally populated by white students.  Even as recently as the mid-1990s, 80 percent of AP exams were taken by whites or Asians.  Today, however, roughly a third of students participating in the program are non-Asian students of color.  And that number is growing every year.

The second achievement has to do with teaching and learning.  By the twenty-first century, AP was being…

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