While some University of Washington professors are experimenting with how to add depth to Advanced Placement courses, as described in a Seattle Times story on Sunday, one of their colleagues is doing research into whether A.P. classes — however they are taught — help students once they get to college.
Mark Long, an associate professor in the UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs, is one of three researchers exploring whether A.P. courses in biology and chemistry affect students’ college performance, and whether they spark students’ interest in majoring in the so-called STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math.
The researchers will work with about 40 high schools across the nation that aren’t now offering A.P. Biology or A.P. Chemistry. Schools that sign up will receive the money they need to start the classes, mostly for training teachers and buying supplies.
The schools will randomly assign students who are interested in and eligible for the A.P. classes to the A.P. classes and non-A.P. classes.More