I'm asked on a regular basis about schools who have decided not to offer any Advanced Placement courses. This move has been trendy for a while, especially in independent schools. The relevant philosophies vary. Some schools want to maintain academic independence, for example allowing history teachers to teach more focused and in-depth classes rather than the survey course that is APUSH. Some schools want to maintain consistency across disciplines - they might still effectively be teaching, say, AP English Literature but not AP economics. By calling both courses "honors" classes they don't give the impression that the economics class is less rigorous, less demanding, less intellectual than the English class.
And then, of course, some schools simply don't want to be embarrassed by getting poor exam scores. You can't lose if you don't play.
If you're a student or teacher at one of these schools, you might ask:
Can students still take an AP Physics exam? Absolutely. The counseling office will know how to sign the student up. You may have to go somewhere else to take it, but any high school student can sign up for, pay for, and take any AP exam. Enrollment in an officially labeled AP course is not required.
Can a teacher still teach the AP curriculum, using AP materials? Of course. AP-copyright publicly released exams are allowed to be used for face-to-face classroom teaching. And the College Board can't copyright the laws of physics.
Can a teacher complete a course audit? Yes. One outcome of a successful course audit is to allow the school to use the College Board trademark "AP" on transcripts, websites, etc. But such use is not required. My school is a no-AP school, yet I have submitted and passed course audits for all AP physics courses. My administrators understand that signing off on the course audit doesn't compel them to use the name AP; it doesn't make me or my school beholden to the College Board.
Can a teacher access the released international exams that are not publicly available? Well, only if the teacher submits and passes a course audit. That's why I complete an audit, even though my courses aren't labeled AP - I want access to the wealth of non-public released AP Physics 1 and 2 exams.
Can you just email me those non-public exams so I can use them in my honors class? No, sorry, I can't. They may not be emailed. Them's the rules. :-)
How can I get them, then? I'm not sure, other than to complete a course audit. If anyone connected to the College Board can answer this better, please post a comment.
Can a teacher still be an AP reader? Sure - I am. My understanding is that qualifying to be a reader is done by teaching an AP course or equivalent - that's why professors and grad students are eligible. If you're not sure, just apply. When you're asked for the number of years experience teaching an AP-level course, count any course that's college level, including dual-enrollment, including a college level course that your school labels as "honors". Be honest... but let the powers that be decide whether you're qualified. Don't sell yourself short.
Hope this helps... more questions? Post a comment!