Fair warning, this post is political.
However, I know nothing changes unless you actively seek change. You can’t just sit by and expect things to work out.
Furthermore, the American political process is all about representation. Good politicians listen to their constituents.
And, because I love my home state and want other bright students to have the same opportunities I had, I had to share my experiences with Advanced Placement classes.
And guys, I go to the University of Edinburgh, the university is notorious for breeding meddlers (*cough* David Hume, Adam Smith, and Charles Darwin, just name a few… *cough*)
So below is the letter I sent to various political representatives in the state including members from the House, Senate, and the Governor himself. I figured I would share it with everyone here to further take part in the political process.
Because, despite what a lot of people say politics is public and positive political change needs mindful, audible voices.
My name is Kennedy Younger Dold. I am eighteen years old and I was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. I attended South Junior High School and in 2015 I graduated from Lawrence High School. You may remember me as the talkative, blonde fourteen year old from the 2011 Kansas Book Festival, of which I was one of 30 invited authors. My novel Amelia and the Heroes of Old was published in April of 2011.
A few years have pasted, and I am currently in my second semester of my first year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland studying History and Archaeology. The University of Edinburgh is a Top 20 World University founded in 1582 and has on average a 10.7% acceptance rate. I received an unconditional offer for study; an extremely hard offer to get that guaranteed without any further assessment my acceptance into the University.
I would not have even been eligible to apply to the University of Edinburgh without the ability to take Advanced Placement classes.
I am writing to you today about House Bill 2292. I believe this bill would have drastic negative effects on current and future students of Kansas. It would limit their educations, creative growth, and collegiate aspirations.
Throughout high school I took a number of AP Classes including, AP European History, AP United States History, AP English Language and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP English Literature and Composition, AP United States Government, AP Comparative Politics, AP Studio Art Drawing, and AP Latin.
These classes taught me invaluable skills such as essay drafting, proper research methods, time management, not to mention the academic knowledge I obtained from analyzing primary sources and reading secondary materials. I was given unique opportunities to engage further and excel with subjects I not only enjoyed but were critical to my further education.
Advanced Placement classes give high achieving, high aspiring students a chance to further their educations past the bare minimum. House Bill 2292 will not only restrict students all over Kansas from being highly educated but punish them. It would prevent students from excelling and punish schools for teaching outside of the Kansas Standards.
House Bill 2292 will limit the standard of a Kansas Education.
It will limit the future of all Kansans.
I know a large portion of the current political platform is based on tax cuts and inviting more big business investments into the state. I think it is a little unrealistic to think that big businesses, run by people with families, would what to move, let alone invest in a state where their children would not receive a quality education.
It is not just a matter of present education either. Advanced Placement classes culminate in an end of the year test with the chance of earning College Credit. If the student preforms well, these tests are huge money saving opportunities for students intending on continuing on to college. They enable students to move directly into more challenging college classes instead of paying for a low level class that is a waste of time and money.
House Bill 2292 would indirectly limit the future of all Kansas college hopefuls. Many upper level colleges across the United States require a minimum number of high scoring AP Test results. For instance, Ivy League colleges such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton require AP scores. They are increasingly moving away from accepting State Standards and even ACT or SAT. To even apply to the University of Edinburgh I had to have at least four high scoring results.
House Bill 2292 would not only restrict students like me who wanted to go abroad, but domestically as well.
My dream to become an archaeologist would have been shattered if I had not had the opportunity to take Advanced Placement classes.
House Bill 2292 takes away opportunities from every student in Kansas.
Something I care deeply for is fairness. Maybe I get it from my parents; my mother worked in patent law and now works as a consultant to better companies, making them more equal and fair. My father was a defense attorney and in January retired after 30+ years in service to this country in the United States Marine Corps, Air Force, and Kansas Air National Guard.
Both my parents stressed fairness to me growing up and House Bill 2292 is not fair.
It is not fair to the teachers who take passion in their subjects.
It is not fair to the parents who want to the best possible education for their children.
It is not fair to the students who aspire to achieve their dreams.
This bill does not affect me, but it will affect students who should be given the same chance I had including my little sister. It in in their names I write to you today, because I believe all students should not be limited in what they can learn. I had to work hard for my admission to the University of Edinburgh. It was not given to me. However, the opportunity was still there.
House Bill 2292 takes away any chance of any student having the same opportunities I had. It takes a student’s future away from them. It tells them they can only achieve so much.
Living abroad has opened my world-view to so many new ideas and people. This opportunity was only possible because of my teachers in AP who pushed me to realize my potential and to them I am eternally grateful. I have friends from all over the world. I celebrated Thanksgiving in Scotland, with friends from six different countries including Scotland, England, Austria, Norway, Lithuania, and the Canary Islands (Spain). We cooked a meal together as the next generation of world citizens.
Especially in a world fueled by bigotry and misinformed hatred, we need well-educated young people willing to talk and to learn from each other. This can only come from allowing our young people the best opportunities we can give them.
House Bill 2292 directly limits the young people of Kansas.
House Bill 2292 destroys aspirations of thousands of bright, intelligent students who only want to learn.
Cheers from Edinburgh,
Kennedy Younger Dold