Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Yeah, so what about fidelity to #STEM Fields? Info for #parents #teachers #legislators #edreform #CommonCore

I was so shocked by the information that the College Board was giving to school superintendents, that I decided to do a little more research.

Please feel free to share my findings.

My source for the information below is from the College Board's website "Chart an AP Course to Your Future"

I only looked at CalcAB, CalcBC, Statistics, and Computer Science A because those were the courses under consideration in my previous post.

I went through their lists of careers for each of these four AP courses. An important thing to know if you're not that familiar with AP Calculus is that many colleges and universities consider AP Calc AB equivalent to their Calc I course and AP Calc BC equivalent to both Calc I and Calc II. So it's a little confusing if you see a career on the College Board's Calc BC list that is not on the Calc AB list and that is because that career would required both Calc I and Calc II.

So, with that in mind, I interpret the information they've provided to mean that:

If a student is NOT prepared for the study of calculus (at some point), they would NOT have an opportunity to pursue these fields.

Aerospace Engineering
Agricultural Engineering
Agriculture, General
Air Transportation
Applied Mathematics
Applied Physics
Architectural Engineering
Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology
Biomedical Engineering
Business Administration and Management
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Computer Engineering, General
Computer Graphics
Computer Networking and Telecommunications
Computer Science
Computer Software Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Engineering and Industrial Management
Engineering Technology
Entrepreneurial Studies
Environmental Engineering
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies
Exercise Science
Fishing and Fisheries
Human Resources Management
Industrial Engineering
Information Science
Information Technology
International Business
Management Information Systems
Management Science
Marine Biology
Materials Engineering
College Major
Mechanical Engineering
Molecular Biology
Natural Resouces Management and Policy
Nuclear Engineering
Nursing (RN)
Nutrition Sciences
Operations Management
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching
Real Estate

On the other hand, students who are NOT prepared to study Calculus COULD use their APStats and/or AP CompSciA credit by exam toward pursuing these fields:

(careers on the College Board's Stats or CompSci list which are not on either Calc list)

Computer Forensics
Criminal Justice
Database Management
Design and Visual Communications
Electronics Technology
Ethnic Studies, General
Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies
Library and Information Science
Natural Resouces Management and Policy
Physician Assistance
Public Administration
Public Policy Analysis
Robotics Technology
Social Work
Studio Arts
Urban Studies
Web Development

I really hope that “Public Policy Analysis” isn’t supposed to be on this second list!

I also suspect that many professionals working in the fields on the second list actually did need calculus for their particular degree.

1 comment:

concerned said...

I posted this comment over at the Kitchen Table Math (KTM) blog, but I thought I'd share it here also...

I recommend (as most probably do) that my hs students/parents go straight to their prospective colleges/universities and review the specific course requirements for each degree, assuming that they've already researched which degree(s) are needed for the job/field that they desire.

The problem I am concerned about is that if they attend a school that strictly adheres to Common Core Math standards and they wait until hs to do their own research, they will find that they are underprepared for Calculus.

Actually, they will find that there is no way that they/their child can take calculus in highschool.

Why does this matter? There are two main reasons that I definitely DO NOT agree with the College Board representative's statements in the original posts.

Students who are not prepared for calculus during the senior year of high school

1) will miss out on an opportunity (that exists today, but may not in the near future) of saving a whole lot of money on college tuition. (these are just estimates based on local MO public universities)

$85 for an AB Calc exam vs. $300/credit hour for 5 credits of Calc I

$85 for a BC Calc exam vs. $300/credit hour for 10 credits in Calc I and Calc II

2) will be at a disadvantage freshmen year in college because they have had a one year lapse in their "preCalc/CollegeAlg" math content study, if they opted for taking AP stats or AP CompSci senior year in hs. This is why it is so important to consider whether or not they desire a degree/field that AT ANY TIME requires Calculus.

Suppose they take the college board's recommendation given above to opt for AP Stats or AP CompSci rather than AP Calculus because it does not "reconcile" with Common Core math standards and they are not prepared.

Sure, these students will still have an opportunity to earn college/univ. credit for that course via an inexpensive exam, but they will have missed a year in the progression to the study of calculus. If their degree/field requires ANY level of calculus, they will now need to take CollegeAlg/PreCalc before they can start the calculus sequence.

I believe that the likelihood of success in college level math courses is very slim for any student seeking a degree which require calculus, who has taken the College Board's advice and opted for APstats or APcompsci senior year as a result of lacking progression toward calculus in Common Core.

That angers me.

Most of our Calc students (AB and BC) have taken APstats concurrently with PreCalc/Trig during junior year, or take it concurrently with Calc senior year.

Most of their degree fields will still require a calc-based stats course during college.