Here’s a suggestion that will help Florida’s school districts a bit in addressing their budgeting issues:
Don’t have students take dual enrollment courses in algebra, precalculus, trigonometry, calculus, statistics and introductory college level science.
Instead, have students take Honors Precalculus and AP courses in calculus, statistics, biology, chemistry and physics. Students can earn college credit with all of those, and the districts will save the college tuition.
I am confident that all of my readers (all four of them – or maybe it’s five) know how students earn college credits in AP courses.
But earning college credit for Honors Precalculus? How does that work?
At the end of the school year, have your students take (and pass) the College Board’s College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Precalculus test. What? You don’t think Florida’s universities have heard of the CLEP program? Take a look at this: FSU gives credit for a passing score on the CLEP Precalculus test. I’m sure the state’s other universities do, too. (Well, maybe not UF – you’ll have to look yourself)
Here’s a dividend from this tip: For a teacher in your high school to teach a dual enrollment course, she or he must have 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline (to teach dual enrollment precalculus, the teacher would have to have 18 graduate credit hours in math). Upper level math and science teachers are difficult enough to find. Finding such teachers with 18 graduate credit hours in the content area is even more difficult. Why would a principal do this to herself?
So this strategy – using AP and CLEP instead of dual enrollment – is a double win (on budget and teacher recruiting). Go for it!