I'm not sure if this will be the last AP post I make, but it sure seems that way, unless people (including those of us who are members of the, you know, membership organization called College Board) put enough pressure on them to continue providing data in the detailed format like they've always done.
In case you don't know, College Board used to put very granular data on its website, for anyone to download and examine. You could look at data by state, by student ethnicity, by specific exam, and by AP score. For instance, this was a sample from one of the years showing the state of Alabama. You can see the data, and at the bottom, see other breakouts: Public schools, male/female, 11th/12th graders, etc. It was a gold mine of data, if you wanted to spend the time looking and digging and calculating. I've only scratched the surface in the three or four posts I've done on this blog, partly because the data are in spreadsheet format, and it takes a lot of cleanup to get it into useable shape for Tableau.
- We were dealing with COVID, and there was major disruption everywhere, including schools, but of course things that happen in a student's home affect school, too
- The exams were converted to 45-minute, take-at-home formats. College Board assured us that they could predict a student's actual score with fewer and shorter questions, but I don't recall being shown that data. You just have to believe.
- The populations of students who took the test probably changed, too. Students with lower performance may have dropped out. Students from lower-income families might not have access to computers at the precise time they needed to test. It was suggested that if bandwidth at home was a problem, students could just take their exams in a parking lot of a McDonald's using the free wifi. There were some difficulties in the technology. too as students who completed the exam couldn't upload their results.
- The grading process may have been compromised in unintentional ways: Teachers may have been confused about the new format. And, during a time when we could all use a little grace and understanding and compassion, those things might have entered into the grading calculations, too. No one could fault people for giving kids the benefit of the doubt.