The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

College Board’s monopoly over the education system at DVHS

Compared to their unweighted counterparts, AP classes have much more work to do.
Alexander (Alex) Wahhab
Compared to their unweighted counterparts, AP classes have much more work to do.

The College Board has a monopoly over academics at Dougherty Valley High School (DVHS). As more high schools across the country offered a growing array of Advance Placement (AP) courses, the College Board’s influence has only seemed to have risen in the past couple of years.

These effects can be seen clearly at  DVHS with the school having 27 out of a total of 39 AP classes the College Board offers. Dougherty Valley is especially rigorous when it comes to AP exams, with 92% of students achieving a passing score of over three in 2022. 

The College Board was founded in 1900 with the mission to bring order to the process of college admissions; although the system was only used by a small percent of colleges at this point. Around 15 years later tests of knowledge in history, english, physics, chemistry, math, Greek, Latin, German, and French were originally administered. Later on, however, exams reliant on essential critical thinking and problem solving skills developed into the framework of the College Board system known today.

Philip Nho, an AP Calculus BC teacher at DVHS, believes that students are advancing quickly through math courses, trying to do as many as they can.

“Instead of my class being predominantly seniors we’re seeing a fairly even split between seniors and juniors, and we’re getting more and more sophomores than we’ve ever had before,” Nho said.

With 4,586 AP exams taken at DVHS in 2023, it’s evident that the College Board has a large sphere of influence at DVHS. With AP exams costing $98 and fees this expensive could impact lower-income students while the impression of not having taken AP exams could affect chances to get into college, despite the fee reduction of $36.

With 4,586 AP exams taken at DVHS in 2023, it’s evident that the College Board has a large sphere of influence at DVHS.

“They’re definitely trying to milk as much money as they can,” said junior Ayan Zakaria.

Around 289 colleges in California accept Advanced Placement credit from public to private and community college to trade school. It’s evident that many colleges across the nation as well rely on the College Board testing system to assess academic proficiency, relying largely on one company. Although theoretically, multiple organizations administering different standardized tests accepted by colleges, may lead to more variance and confusion amongst students and colleges alike.

“So, now colleges will be less likely to take those AP exam scores and count them as college credit when what a three or a passing score on an AP exam is not the same as what this other organization considers. Whereas if it’s just one organization they understand that three means they’ve shown competency in that concept” Nho says.

“When I was in high school, I just didn’t question it too much. I saw it in the same vein that I saw the SAT or other standardized tests. You had to play the game,” Nho reminisces.

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About the Contributors
Rithvika Nagaraj, Opinions Copy Editor
Alexander (Alex) Wahhab, Photography Editor
Alex joined the Tribune because J1 was a very rewarding class, and he liked the community. In his free time, he enjoys skateboarding around town. A fun fact about Alex is that he is very injury-prone. His goal for this year is to be a good photo editor. If he could be anyone on the Tribune, he would be Joshua, because he is like a little brother to Alex.

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