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Topic: Re: Reply to Jerry Rosen
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Posts: 14
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Reply to Jerry Rosen
Posted: Jun 23, 1997 7:27 AM
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>> performance on the AP test can only be considered a partial assesment of
their mathematical competence, maturity and attainment. Equally important is
how they perform in college classrooms around the country the following

It seems that the regretable idea (the only purpose of course W and test X is
to prepare you for course Y and test Z) is not only prevalent at the HS
level, but also at the college level. Give me ANY test and I can coach my
students to do well on that test. To base your students' "learning" and your
teaching on the AP scores they earn in May is misguided at best. Our
challenge as teachers should be to improve understanding for our students,
not to PREP them for a test. ANY test. Of course, real testing is
significantly more difficult than the testing that is largely prevalent in
education. The AP is a good (not great) test for the current agenda, but be
careful that you don't give it too much credit. A good calculus course has
*always* covered much more than ANY AP test has covered.

I will agree that AP performance is only a partial assesment. I will even
grant that performance in college the next Fall is also a partial assesment.
I would add, though, that together, they do not make up anything close to
the whole picture. If the college course is as predictable as the AP, I
would give the course as little credit as many college prof's seem to give
the AP. Real learning, challenging thought, combinations of symbolic
manipulation and creative original thought, and many more are difficult to
create, but are the true tests of learning. If a student ever walks out of
an evaluation able to say that every question was exactly as I expected has
perhaps not taken a valid evaluation. The twist and the thought should
always be there.


Chris Harrow
Mathematics Department
The Westminster Schools
1424 W Paces Ferry Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30327

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