Monday, March 27, 2017

How effective are AP courses?

I found a curious story in the Atlantic in October 2012, by John Tierney, “AP Classes are a Scam”,

I did get AP classes when I worked as a sub, and they were a pleasure to teach.  I took only one in my own high school, Enriched Chemistry in twelfth grade.

I wonder how science fair winner Jack Andraka would react to this article today (he won his prize for his pancreatic cancer test in 2013, and says that the idea for using carbon nanotubes the way he does in the test occurred to him in a class.

I have seen AP math classes that went as far as differential equations.  I remember giving a calculus test where the first part was without graphing calculators, and had to be turned in before the student could work the second part.

But I wonder how the calculators do today in the era of smart phones.  I found the TI device that bought kept losing power quickly.

You could make math and physics test problems about how high a batted baseball that barely clears the Green Monster in Fenway Park in Boston will reach before starting to descend, and how far it would travel beyond the wall to reach the ground.  A lot farther than 305 feet.

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