A Rundown of College Board’s Two New AP Courses

Ava Stuzin, News Editor

The College Board has announced that they will be piloting two new AP courses in the 2022-2023 school year: AP Precalculus and AP African American Studies.

“The College Board is always coming out with great classes; to give kids an opportunity to be diverse and take all kinds of classes is one of the best things I think about Palmetto. We offer just as much or more AP classes than other schools around here,” Miami Palmetto Senior High Assistant Principal Daniel Barreras said.

At Miami Palmetto Senior High School, adding a new class to the curriculum requires finding a teacher, an open class period and seeing if there would be enough students interested in joining.

“Whenever we’re looking at adding another class, we want to look at what the teacher or what the curriculum is going to be. Sometimes we add classes that teachers are interested in teaching, and we ask the teachers what kind of things are you going to cover, what activities and assignments are there gonna be, ” Barreras said.

Currently, Miami Palmetto Senior High is discussing whether these two new AP classes will be offered in the future.

The College Board offers three math classes for high school students: AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC and AP Statistics.

AP Precalculus is going to be divided into four units— Polynomial and Rational Functions, Exponential and Logarithmic Functions, Trigonometric and Polar Functions and Functions Involving Parameters, Vectors and Matrices to cover a spectrum of function types that are foundational for careers in mathematics, physics, biology, health science, social science and data science, according to the course framework.

Formed by high school and college math teachers, AP Precalculus is set to create a new track to college-level math in high school. With high-demand jobs in the STEM field, AP Precalculus allows students to bypass unnecessary math courses in college that do not count toward a student’s major.

The AP exam is three hours long and divided up into two sections— multiple choice and free response. Each of these sections has two parts, one of which requires a graphing calculator, and one that does not allow the use of a calculator.

The other new course, AP African American Studies, is currently being piloted at 60 schools across the United States. The course will include key connections to the African diaspora and will be the largest and most accessible high school course in the field.

The course goes into detail about not just history, but civil rights, politics, culture, literature and more. 

Head of the College Board AP Program, Trevor Packer, stated that the May 2020 death of George Floyd and the surrounding protests led to the organization’s decision to reveal the course now.

This new course comes during a time when states have introduced 137 bills battling over the teaching of critical race theory and the proposal of bills to prevent schools from teaching students to restrict teaching about race.