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Journal Article: Calculus as a Catalyst: The Transformation of an Inner-City High School in Boston

Journal Article » Calculus as a Catalyst: The Transformation of an Inner-City High School in Boston


Calculus, Curriculum, Disadvantaged, Educational Reform, Urban, Environments, High Schools


Werkema, Rachel Deyette; Case, Robert


2005, Sep


Disparities in curricular offerings between poor, inner-city schools and their more affluent counterparts leave urban students at a disadvantage in terms of preparation for higher education and future job opportunities. Introducing more rigorous academic coursework into traditionally low-performing schools is one way to close this gap; however, the addition of advanced classes is only part of moving a school to a higher level of academic performance. Using a framework developed by Oakes, we investigate the technical, normative, and political dimensions of the turnaround of an inner-city high school through a case study of the introduction of advanced placement calculus. The authors find that the calculus course is not an isolated effort but part of a package of increased academic expectations of students and staff and an influx of financial and personnel resources stemming from the school's position of political priority. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA ) (journal abstract)