Scenario 1:
Creating an Advanced Placement Calculus Course for a Rural High School

Jeremy Roschelle, SRI International, and Uri Treisman, University of Texas at Austin, facilitated this breakout group.

Context: This breakout group devised its own context from which to launch its discussions: In Texas, there are 500 rural high schools serving 7 percent of the students. These are small high schools that cannot offer much math and science. About 280,000 students are taking math at any given time in the schools. The goal is to enroll 12,000 students per year in calculus. State policy requires equalizing opportunities for these students. Many are poor. It is an ethnically mixed demographic. Historically, most of these schools have only taught algebra and have no experience teaching calculus. A growing Spanish-speaking population wants AP calculus to be available, and a strategy must be found to serve these schools. The ultimate goal is to achieve a higher rate of acceptance to college for these students.

Funding for the technology infrastructure consists of approximately $150 million for hardware, which has been invested in numerous yet makeshift ways. Some schools have expensive videoconferencing and some thin client-run equipment. Most districts have a T-1 line into the principal's office. Very few classrooms are connected, but computer use is growing. Most people have a 28K modem connection at home.

Texas already provides some professional development for teachers, at least five days during the summer and some days during the school year. However, the math teachers have determined that they need fifteen days of professional development and have formally requested at least these days be made available.

One-third of the math teachers are teaching the subject without a good math background. About 10 of the 500 schools are success models and are already providing calculus. Some of these schools succeeded mainly by coordinating the effort from middle school onward—AP calculus is not treated as an isolated activity. In other cases, the achievement is attributable to determined individual teachers who persevered on their own.

Rural Texans are increasingly interested in using the Internet to gain access to products and services, and the state is investing in rural connectivity. By 2003, the Texas state legislature is going to issue a request for proposals to build a system. The governor wants several solutions offered to

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