Success in Teaching AP Calculus

As I look back on my time as a high school mathematics teacher, I am proud of what I accomplished in spite of the multitude of difficulties I encountered along the way. I’ve written about many of them in prior posts.

I believe data speaks volumes; hence, I share the AP Exam pass rates for my AP Calculus AB students over the seven years that I taught the course. I have additional data specific to the AP Exams, placement tests I created and used each year, and a host of other outcomes on a variety of common assessments I used with each cohort. I will share that data from time to time.

For now, let’s look at the AP Calculus AB AP Exam pass rates for students at my school for academic years ending in 2011 through 2018.

The red dot represents the pass rate for AP Calculus AB students for the 2010-2011 academic year, which was prior to my arrival. The blue dots indicate the pass rates for my students for each year after I arrived except for my last year. The green dot reflects the pass rate for my last year.

Over this period of time, the national, average pass rate for AP Calculus AB was around 58%. Before I arrived, the school’s pass rate was a little over half of the national average. When I left, it was two-thirds higher than the national average with not much room for improvement. Overall, the pass rate rose nearly 225% during my tenure.

I would call this a success in teaching AP Calculus, especially when I never even had heard of AP until I ended up teaching this course in my first year as a mathematics teacher.

About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Independent consultant and junior college adjunct instructor. Former secondary math teacher who taught math intervention, algebra 1, geometry, accelerated algebra 2, precalculus, honors precalculus, AP Calculus AB, and AP Statistics. Prior to teaching, I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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2 Responses to Success in Teaching AP Calculus

  1. This is impressive. What do you count as a passing score? 3 or greater?


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