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True, but I think that public schools could move in the direction of having advanced classes without making them AP classes and the subsequent AP test, just as these private/magnet schools have done. Doesn't help students in the here and now, but seems like it would be a better place to be. Obviously, as these private/magnet schools have proven, AP isn't that important.
Interesting claim, since so many hs have discontinued reporting rank. Many top colleges report 50-plus percent not reporting, and that it's growing. If you're worried about the pressure, well, spare your kids the pressure. Really. Take the reins. Nothing wrong with stretching but maybe the pressure to get A grades needs to be revisited, when parents are concerned.