>Let me be perfectly clear -- there *is* a place for calculus in the high >school curriculum, for those students for whom it is naturally appropriate >-- in a large school, surely enough for one or three classes. But not for >*most* college bound students. The goal isn't to stop teaching calculus in >high school, but to have more options, I might add for *all* students.
So what does the Standards say about this? Is there a value for actually _knowing_ calculus when you get out of high school? Or is it better to know other things, like discrete math? Or should we be taking longer on concepts and in-depth study so that there's no time to do calculus anyway? And how is your school addressing what the Standards say?
As an irrelevant datapoint in the discussion, I took calculus in high school, but didn't double-up on anything - my eighth grade math teacher gave me the book the first day of class and told me to go home, look at it, and tell her what I didn't know. Since I knew everything in the book (it was pretty much the same as the seventh grade book), I skipped up to the algebra I class. So I was just a year ahead the rest of the way (and ended up being the only person in the calculus class).
However, when I got to college (a rather prestigious small liberal arts college), and was interested in being a math major, I took calculus over again, with hopes of actually understanding it. While there are no doubt students who really learn calculus in high school, I wasn't one of them - I knew enough of the stuff that I didn't work too hard for an A first semester in college, but I did learn the concepts (and did continue toward a math degree).
Four years later my high school started offering algebra I in eighth grade. Made sense to me, since the eighth grade math really was just a repeat of the seventh grade stuff. Very odd.
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