AP Computer Science denied math credit


Photo by Gavan Townsend

AP Computer Science teacher Nicholas Springer teaches his class how to code a weed wacker. Springer enjoys teaching his students that they can code anything they can imagine.

AP Computer Science is a class that designs, implements and analyzes solutions to problems that are introduced to students. This is achieved by creating algorithms, methods and other pieces of code to solve problems just like an ordinary math class, but in this case, students do not receive a math credit, at least this year. Unlike the many years before, students might not get a math credit for all their hard work and dedication. Students should earn a math credit like the students before them.

The decision to deny students a math credit is at the discretion of the school board, and they have ruled for many years that computer science does indeed count as a math credit, but this year things are different. Students who are a part of the class think that it is unfair that they will not receive the credit that everyone else has before them.

Many students before the 2018-19 class were able to receive a math credit for their hard work. It seems truly unfair to grant multiple groups of students something, yet take it away from people who have worked just as hard, if not harder, to obtain it as well. This is especially confusing since next year students will receive a math credit for the same class.

“I think it is just a bit of a double standard. The idea that one year does not get a math credit, but the next one does, can seem hypocritical,” senior Max Kruse said.

Computer science is a class that is filled to the brim with mathematical practices. Students use different methods of computing values much like an ordinary math class. They also solve real-world problems and put their solutions to good use. In addition, students must know basic algebra skills in order to take the class.

I think it is just a bit of a double standard. The idea that one year does not get a math credit, but the next one does, can seem hypocritical.”

— Max Kruse

“I think it would make sense that we get a math credit since we use math, and more people would go into computer science,” junior Noah DeLeon said.

A huge problem with computer science being a math credit is that it needs to be taught by a math teacher. This would not have been a problem, but one year the teacher was a business teacher who did not have any credentials for being a math teacher. This is where the school board had to make a decision to keep it going as a math credit. Now that Springer, a geometry and algebra teacher, is the new AP Computer Science teacher the board should revert their decision to make the class an elective credit.

“Originally when this class was brought before the school board, it was brought forth as a math credit,” AP Computer Science teacher Nicholas Springer said. “At one point one of the teachers was a business teacher, and by Minnesota state law, you can’t get a math credit from a teacher without the credentials of a math teacher.”

Computer science is a gigantic job field and is only growing every day. Allowing students to take a class that they are interested in while also being rewarded a math credit could give many the incentive they need to join the expanding world that is computer science. As of now, students will be able to talk to their counselors and choose between an elective credit or a math credit for this year.