AP Calculus: Challenging Students in a Different Way

Academically driven students everywhere are facing a change in the upcoming school year that many are not happy about. The Advanced Placement Calculus program is being changed in the Anglophone East School District.

Instead of offering the course in the individual high school setting, it will be offered outside of school hours as an additional course and for students from any school in the district. Many arguments have been heard from both sides. However, the opinions of the students involved are louder than any other, and they don’t like the idea.

The most prominent argument against this situation is that it is contradictory to the entire purpose of the Advanced Placement program. The idea of AP is to provide a university level course to high school students in a more academically challenging setting to prepare them for the reality of post-secondary education while still offering the support of a high school teacher.

Many students have agreed that it is a lot easier to gain understanding of the material with one on one help from the teacher – which is much easier to provide in a class of 20 than a class of 50 or more.

“They are doing this to open the course to more people, but given the circumstances, I would expect the course to have less students than the original system,” says Zachary Ferguson.

Another logical argument is that a student interested in challenging themselves at this level is most likely taking other advanced courses at school, and adding a sixth one in the evening seems almost impossible.

“Obviously if they’re an AP Calculus student they’re already going to have an impossibly busy schedule,” says Lori Mombourquette.

Many students have said that this change to the way things are run will greatly affect their decision in the level of math they decide to take.

Megan Robertson, who currently teaches AP Calculus at BMHS, says that the course has been running smoothly for over 10 years, with 96% of students passing the exam, 40% earning 4/5 on the final exam and 40% earning 5/5 and gaining their university credit for Calculus 1001. She credits this to the availability of extra help and the more comfortable setting of a high school environment, factors that would probably be absent within a district-wide course.

However, Robertson says, “It will benefit the other schools in the district who never offered the course to begin with.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *