The Ivy Coach Daily

March 4, 2022

Math Drama at La Guardia High School

A piece in The New York Post focuses on drama at LaGuardia High School over the school’s calculus curriculum.

Parents of students at New York City’s Fiorello H. La Guardia High School are apparently up in arms that the school administration failed to devise an appropriate AP Calculus BC curriculum. Apparently, The College Board, which is the company behind the AP curriculum, deemed through an internal review that the course offered by LaGuardia did not meet their requirements to be called AP Calculus BC for the 2021-2022 academic year. In fact, LaGuardia must now update all colleges to which students applied this year that the course is no longer designated AP Calculus BC. It’s embarrassing indeed for the famed music, art, and performing arts school that boasts Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli among its alumni!

As Selim Algar reports for The New York Post in a piece entitled “Parents furious over AP math course bungle at top NYC high school,” “In a letter to families this week, assistant principal Alyssa Collins said that the College Board deemed the school’s ongoing AP Calculus course ineligible for the designation. The news comes just one year after the performing arts school sought to narrow its AP offerings but was forced to relent after a parental outcry. ’Here we are, one year later, and the AP Calculus class gets rejected,’ one angry parent told The Post. ’It’s hard not to read between the lines about what’s going on here.’ Collins told parents that the course will instead be called ’Advanced Calculus’ in student transcripts.”

Come on LaGuardia! Get it together. In spite of how loudly and how vociferously your administrators argue that an AP course designation doesn’t matter all that much, your outraged parents are right. It does matter. It is important that students take AP coursework — not so students can earn college credit as The New York Post reporter suggests but to improve their case for admission to elite universities. While many elite universities don’t offer credit for “passing” AP scores as The Post writer expresses, showing AP coursework and great AP testing when applying to top universities demonstrates that a student took challenging coursework and did well. It also allows admissions officers to compare students from one high school, like LaGuardia, to others across the nation and around the world. So as much as Laguardia administrators may attempt to dismiss AP tests and AP coursework as products of a private company (they are!), they still matter. LaGuardia administrators, we suggest you start listening to your parents. They know what they’re talking about!

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