As of press time in mid-November, the English Department was considering adding a new Advanced Placement English course, AP English Language and Composition, said English Department head Shirley Tokheim. According to Tokheim, there is no set date for the decision, but more information will come after Thanksgiving break.

Unlike AP Literature, which emphasizes literary analysis, AP Language focuses on helping students “develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays.”   

Below, Paly students and teachers offer their opinions on the possible course.   v


“We [English faculty] are still trying to figure out our values. Right now, the conversation is about the ‘AP race’ in our Paly culture. There is a race to take as many APs as possible to enhance your GPA. But … what does that do to mental health?”

— English teacher Marc Tolentino


“I learned so much in my elective so I think it’s important that students take the electives in junior year … If I had the option, I would’ve taken the AP last year and then this year because I love English as a subject, but I also see the value in the electives. The more the merrier.”

— AP Lit. student, senior Alix Barry


“I worry that students who would take and enjoy the electives, that they … would end up taking the AP language because it looks good … We would see a huge drop in our elective offerings and I think that’s a huge loss for the benefit of feeding an [AP] monster that doesn’t need to be fed.

— English teacher Trinity Klein