Have to prep for the test

Multi-week strike affects AP curriculum

The multi-week strike puts Advanced Placement (AP) classes in an awkward position. Having two weeks lost for the AP curriculum may change how teachers will prepare their students for the exam in May. 

AP classes that have a heavy workload were affected more than  AP classes that contain less of a workload. 

“I would say AP Calculus BC [was affected], they have to cover more material than AB does, they cover two semesters worth of college calculus and they already go right up to the AP exam learning new material, so they don’t have a lot of time built into their schedule,” said AP Calculus AB teacher Kim Bowman. 

Depending on the AP class, different teachers had different plans to make up for the missed class time. However, some AP classes already had homework planned out for the unit.

`“There was a unit map of what they should be doing whether they were in school or not in school,” said AP United States History (APUSH) and AP Government and Politics (AP Gov) teacher Jon Smith.

The AP test is a set date so the days being made up at the end of the year will not help students learn more for the test.

“The reality for AP classes is that the AP test date doesn’t move,” said Smith. “Especially with a class like APUSH where there is 38 chapters of textbook content to get through and approximately that many blocks, there is not really a time for us to completely stop working.”

Even with the unit map that students can use at home, the curriculum still had to be condensed for lost instruction time. 

“I had to combine The Era of Good Feelings and Jackson into one day coming back, I had to combine Market Revolution and Antebellum Reforms into one day coming back,” said Smith. “Instead of four blocks covering those four topics we did two blocks covering those four topics.”

Other classes had enough buffer time to not need to condense any classes, even without having homework during the strike.  

“Luckily I think that we are not going to have adjust too much,” said AP Biology teacher Nichole Lowery. “I have my curriculum pretty well planned out to end three to four weeks before the exam anyway.”

Due to the make up days, the amount of scheduled review time will now be cut down less.

“I am still hoping I might get three weeks earlier, because we are adding in a couple of these makeup days and some things were cut out of the curriculum as it is,” said Lowery. “So my hope is I might lose a few days of review maybe up to a week, but not that much.”

Another way the teachers are able to keep the review days the same is by having classes that can be switched to review days. 

“If worst comes to worst I can cut some lab experiences that I would do before the exam, and just do those after the exam, so that students will still be getting the lab experience we may just have some stretches where we don’t do as many as we normally do,” said Lowery.

  Overall, the teachers do not believe that the strike will affect the test in May; however, it may have affected the learning for the unit that the students were on.

“I think maybe [the strike] had a little bit of affect on the unit we were in when we left,” said Lowery. We were in a unit we were close to a unit exam, so I think maybe the scores on that exam suffered a little bit and the understanding in that unit, because that is a pretty long break when you are learning something new.”