Our nation’s finest universities and colleges say they want our teenagers to be ready for college. They say they will do whatever they can to make that happen.
I would like to believe them, but in one small but revealing way, many of them — including the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University and Washington College — have been doing the opposite. They have failed to correct a discriminatory credit policy that is hurting the high school students trying hardest to prepare for their rich and rigorous programs.
Check the Web sites or rule books of most American universities, including the ones above, and you will discover that they offer college credit to students who get good grades on Advanced Placement exams in high school but that they refuse to give the same credit to students who do well on similar International Baccalaureate Standard Level exams. They offer credit to students who get good grades on exams taken after two-year Higher Level IB courses, but those are different. Tests for one-year IB courses don’t get credit; tests for similar one-year AP courses do.