June 2023

AP Calculus: What to Know

U.S. News & World Report
AP Calculus: What to Know

Just Equations founder Pamela Burdman was quoted in U.S. News & World Report in an article about the role of high school calculus in college admissions and postsecondary success. The article, about how calculus and other high-level math courses can help students succeed in college, also cites A New Calculus for College Admissions, Just Equations’ report on admissions officers’ views on high school math course-taking. 

For decades, high school students hoping to attend the most selective colleges in the country have received the same recommendation: Take the most rigorous courses possible. And over that time, Advanced Placement calculus courses have become synonymous with the height of academic achievement.

Yet taking calculus in high school often fails to translate into success in college math, educators say. … 

It’s also raised equity concerns, as Black and Latino students and students from low-income families are less likely to enroll in calculus in high school. …

“What we really need to do is equalize access to calculus such that access isn’t aligned with demographic issues, while also making other courses available,” Burdman said. “The decision of math options can really be driven by student interest and not by a perceived pecking order amongst the courses or implicit bias.”

Read the Article

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