Why a Lighthouse?

In the summer of 2001, a group of English teachers got together to produce a document to help teachers understand how the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for English/language arts aligned with Advanced Placement Program* (AP*) English objectives. Being the creative people that they are, the English teachers chose a lighthouse as a metaphor for their project. To quote from their publication: "A lighthouse is a tower located at some place important or dangerous to navigation; at its top sits a very bright light to guide or warn ships at night. A lighthouse must sit on bedrock." Since that time, teams in the other core subject areas have worked to produce Lighthouse Web sites for their respective disciplines.

We also find the lighthouse metaphor appropriate. The social studies TEKS form the foundation for curriculum, instruction, and assessment in Texas social studies classrooms. With a challenging framework of lessons resting on this bedrock, AP courses can help students navigate through difficult material to greater success and confidence in the classroom. It is hoped that this site, by addressing how Pre-AP* courses can lead students to greater success, will be a valuable beacon for teachers and students.

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