WHS Teachers Excelling as AP Readers

Two Weatherford High School teachers, Staci Tharp and Alan Roemer, have enjoyed a unique opportunity this summer as they have served as Advanced Placement® (AP®) Readers. As AP Readers, they evaluate and score free responses of AP students from around the country, ensuring that students receive AP grades that accurately reflect college-level achievement in a specified discipline.

The experience gained is invaluable for these teachers, but also for the students they serve at WHS. Although each teacher has been an AP Reader for at least a decade, every year they each come back to their classroom with newfound knowledge to share with their students.
 
Image of Alan Roemer outside of AP headquarters“Every year I come back with notes of what I want to tell my students,” Roemer said. “Notes about what they should and shouldn’t do when answering free response questions. It has definitely made me a better teacher.”
 
“This year, I scored 2,256 essays for Question 3 (the argument question) of the AP Language and Composition exam,” Tharp said. “When the reading was complete, after nine days and sixty-two hours of scoring, I sat down and made notes of how I will revise my teaching of argument this year based on what I am able to bring to my students from this experience.”
 
Tharp, an English language arts teacher at WHS, has served as an AP Reader for 12 years. 
 
“The scoring of the exam offers AP teachers and college adjunct teachers, both of which I am, the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals from around the country and the world,” she said. “The constant analysis of the prompts, the texts, and the students' responses with colleagues of different perspectives and experiences is invaluable in honing my instruction.
 
“Serving as an AP Reader is incomparable in providing the best professional development to improve AP instruction in the classroom.”
 
Roemer, a mathematics teacher, has served as an AP Reader for 10 years and is reading responses from the AP Calculus AB exams. 
 
“Once I became a reader, I realized it was by far the best training I have ever received as an AP teacher,” he said. “To see actual student responses and to get the enhanced details of how students earn points (and how they don’t) on the AP exam was eye-opening for sure. 
 
“The College Board says that 97 percent of high school teachers who are AP Readers have made changes to the way they teach or score work as a direct result of their participation in the AP Reading, and I whole-heartedly agree with that.”
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