Advanced Placement courses are hard. This is why they are called 'advanced.' Were these classes to become easier--or just less tough--they would no longer be advanced. They'd be normal. This hasn't stopped the College Board--the non-profit organization that runs the AP and SAT--from announcing a series of changes to the amount of material many of the tests will cover. By changes, they mean reductions. They want to shift to a focus "what students need to be able to do with their knowledge," according to College Board vice president Trevor Packer, but, reports The New York Times, "A.P. teachers made clear that such a shift was impossible unless the breadth of material covered was pared down."
Lest you think the new exams--slated to debut in 2014 or 2015--will somehow destroy your old AP chem teacher's raison d'etre, New York Times education reporter Christopher Drew offers a sweeping defense of the College Board's changes, suggesting the classes have demanded too much of American teens in recent years. Already preoccupied with chaste vampires and fictional glee clubs, Drew notes students enrolled in AP courses have also had to keep tabs on "breakthroughs in genetic research and cellular organization, and momentous events like the cold war, the civil rights movement, Watergate and the war on terror."