Date: Jan 31, 1996 12:56 AM
Author: John A Benson
Subject: AP

I must jump into this discussion on Mark's side.  I am a high school
teacher. From my point of view, AP has given some direction to the efforts
of high school teachers throughout the country by providing some sort of
benchmark. Many teachers have looked at the AP test and/or their school's
results on the same and ahve concluded that their program was not "up to
speed." They have then worked very hard to provide for a series of courses
that would move their students into a position where they are prepared to
understand the material in the AP course. There are many teachers who were
reluctant to use graphing calculators until AP said they were required.
Many of those teachers have become believers in the new technology. Many
schools ahve begun to require graphing calculators in algebra and trig
because it is on the AP test. It has also been my experience that msot
teachers who want to go beyond the AP course simply teach a strong calculus
course and realize that their students will do well on the test if they
understand the ideas, even if there is a topic or two they did not cover in
detail. AS a national standard, it is necessarily conservative, but it is at
least a standard in a country that seems reluctant to set any educational
standards. It has certainly helped me become a better teacher. Like
anything else, it is no perfect, but I would have to say it is opne of the
more successful attempts at upgrading the quality of mathematics education
in the US.

Anyway, that's what I think

John Benson (School) (Home)
Evanston Township High School 715 South Boulevard
Evanston Illinois 60204 Evanston IL 60202-2907
(847) 492-5848 Phone (847) 328-8019 Phone
(847) 492-3872 Fax (847) 328-9280 Fax