Carson Appointed Chief Reader for Annual AP Reading

September 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Dr. Warren Carson, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs & Chief Diversity Officer at USC Upstate, has been appointed Chief Reader for the national College Board’s Advanced Placement Program’s annual Reading.

Each June, more than 11,000 college faculty members and Advanced Placement high school teachers from some of the best academic institutions across the globe come to the United States to evaluate and score the free-response sections of the AP Exams.

As Chief Reader for the AP English Literature unit of the free-response section, Carson is responsible for ensuring that students receive scores that accurately reflect college-level achievement. In addition, he oversees the progress of the process and the work of the other readers.

According to the College Board, AP courses focus “not on memorizing facts and figures,” but are designed to “engage (students) in intense discussions, solve problems collaboratively, and learn to write clearly and persuasively.”

The College Board defines the English Literature course as one “designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature…so students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.”

“The English Literature unit is a real mix of literary works and genres,” said Carson. “There is a very careful and deliberate process for selecting works to be on the exam that includes looking for balance and works representative of different periods.”

Though he knows being a Chief Reader will have its challenges, Carson is intent on maintaining perspective throughout the process.

“It’s important to remember that we’re working on behalf of the students,” stressed Carson. “We must try to make sure that they have every opportunity to develop the skills needed to go into the world.”