Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)
Advanced Placement Statistics is here and growing. About 7500 students took the AP exam in 1997 and over 15,000 took the exam in 1998. This year, about 23,000 students are expected to take the exam! This tremendous growth in the AP program means that each year there are a large number of high school mathematics teachers who are teaching statistics for the first or second time.
There are a number of ways in which ASA members can help support teachers who are teaching AP statistics, and I encourage you to get involved. I asked two experienced AP teachers and good friends, Gretchen Davis and Chris Olsen, what statisticians could do to help. They each responded with a nearly identical list: (1) Be available to answer questions, advise and encourage; (2) Offer to be a guest speaker and talk about what statisticians really do; and (3) Offer to consult with students who are working on projects.
In my work with the Advanced Placement program, I have been impressed with the dedication, enthusiasm and creativity of the AP teachers. I have had the opportunity to work closely with several AP teachers and to answer some of their questions about statistics, and in exchange they have shared with me their knowledge and experience in teaching. As a result, I too have learned a great deal from these exchanges. So, invite your local AP Statistics teacher to lunch. You'll be glad you did!