Summer break brings AP Scoring

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“Where are you going? What do I need to do?” my husband asked with a start.

I woke him from deep sleep.

“I’m leaving for Tampa in the morning. They need me. They’re short on AP Lang Scorers. Will you take me to the airport about 5 a.m.?”

“I’ve got you,” he says, settling quickly back into sleep.

The strangest summer of our married lives became even stranger this week. Due to last minute faculty changes, I’ve started the summer adrift—uncertain exactly what I’ll be teaching in the fall or what I’m doing this summer—and my good natured husband is drifting alongside me.

My younger daughter, home from college for the summer, gave me a unique Mother’s Day gift. She is assisting me in cleaning out the entire house—drawer by drawer—closet by closet. We moved in this house one year before she was born. This clean-out is daunting. Scoring is my temporary clean-out reprieve.

At February’s A+ College Ready mock reading, my table-leader started this idea of summer scoring. Table-leaders were experienced readers from the College Board National Scoring. As Alabama’s A+ College Ready teachers scored students’ mock essays from the students’ January mock exams, table-leaders back-read teachers’ scored essays for accuracy.

“You’re at 98 percent accuracy,” my table-leader said matter-of-factly. “You should apply for this summer’s College Board National Reading.”

I applied and did the paperwork. I thought I’d go. Then I thought I might not. Suddenly, I was on an airplane headed to Tampa. I took my first Uber with Keyerra who spoke little English, but responded to my question about her favorite libro by handing me her Bible.

Arriving at the convention center, I met people from Texas, Kansas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. I had a roommate for the first time in more than 30 years.

Scoring AP essays from 8-5 each day, kindred spirits surround me in this brigade of writing teachers. Looking up from scoring, I notice teachers are reading and smiling. We read supportively—rewarding students for what they do well—and supporting each other on this teaching journey.