Date: Feb 20, 1995 7:30 AM
Author: Karen Dee Michalowicz
Subject: NCTM - Re:  Doubling Up on Math Classes

According to Ed Wall:
> Question: Some high schools are recommending that students that do well
> in Algebra I (i.e. A students) double up next year (i.e the sophmore
> year) and take Geometry and Algebra II so that they can take Calculus by their
> senior year. Is this a reasonable thing to recommend?
> I am somewhat dubious about the utility of taking Calculus the senior year,
> but I wonder just what the math classes are like at these schools. I
> would hope that Geometry and Algebra II alone offered sufficient challenge to
> even the best student. Certainly the material that COULD be covered is more
> than sufficient for such a challenge.

Unfortunately, our university admissions offices are telling
our students that it is very important to have calculus in high
school. Therefore, if two students are candidates for
admission to XYZ University, and they are equally qualified,
the student with calculus will usually be accepted.

Our independent school group in the Washington, D.C. area wrote
a position paper on this. We feel that a discrete math course
or such
would be more profitable than taking calculus as a senior.
Yet, our position doesn't do any good if the university admissions
office uses calculus as a weight for admission.

Many of our independent school students do not double
up but take geometry over the summer after freshman year.

I believe doubling up to be very difficult. If the student
didn't take algebra in 8th grade, it will probably be very
difficult to take two courses in one year.


Karen Dee

Math History Lives!

Karen Dee Michalowicz VQUEST Math Lead Teacher/Trainer
Upper School Mathematics Chair Virginia Quality Education
The Langley School in Sciences and Technology
1411 Balls Hill Rd, McLean, VA
22012 USA
703-820-1889(h) 703-356-1920(w)
Fax: (703) 790-9712
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