Quoted from http://blogs.msdn.com/alfredth/archive/2008/04/04/college-board-to-discontinue-the-ap-cs-ab-exam.aspx:
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson : College Board to discontinue the AP CS AB exam
Well the news hit like a thunderclap in the Advanced Placement Computer Science world today - the College Board has decided to discontinue the AP CS AB exam after next school year.
Yes, I was shocked to read the email about the end of AP CS B. i've sat back and just let the fur fly, and what has come out makes sense. There are two explainations -- both related. The first explaination is that it is a purely economic decision. The second, is that few minorities sign up for the test.
Both answers make sense, especially taken together.
As an AP CS teacher at a small urban high school, I am relieved. Because of our own district decisions, having both A and AB tests mean that I have to teach at least three preps, but usually 4. The most number of students I've gotten for the AB is 3, and rarely are those students as serious as they need to be. I do have a high passing rate, but the sample size is extremely low. It's hard to prep for 3 students when you have 60 taking a different prep.
Next year I'll have 2 AB students, both of which are capable of passing. I'm planning on taking a one week staff development that was to focus on the AB (last year, I focused on the A), That's a lot of staff development for 3 students.
However, I really don't like the idea of expanding the A so that it meets the requirements of a full year of computer science, which is one of the plans floating about. Thankfully we have a PreAP number which should help. We can also keep the AP CS II designation, and use that as needed.
All in all, I think it's a good thing.
However, I wouldn't be surprised if some corporate sponsors stepped in and financed it. And they probably should.