Social science department ushers in new macroeconomics course


AP Macroeconomics is a substantially more popular exam than AP Microeconomics across the country.

Tekla Carlen, Editor-In-Chief

Macroeconomics will become the new Advanced Placement (AP) economics course, replacing the current AP Microeconomics, to complement a semester of AP Government for seniors next year. Unlike other high school history courses, which cover Europe, the U.S. and the contemporary world, economics is more math-based. Apart from the shift to a different kind of social science senior year, the next graduating class will be the first to take AP Macroeconomics at Burlingame, while College Preparatory Economics will continue to incorporate elements of both macroeconomics and microeconomics.

AP Microeconomics teachers Alison Liberatore and Matthew McDermott pushed for the course change because they think macroeconomics is more suited to Burlingame’s social science department.

“We decided to do that because the micro class, while students do well on the exam, is … almost completely disconnected from the Gov. course,” Liberatore said. “Because we do them both in such a short amount of time, we want there to be more connection between the courses.”

The study of microeconomics examines the economy through the lens of specific individuals and businesses, and the course involves extensive graphing skills. Macroeconomics, on the other hand, covers the economy as a whole and offers a more broad view of economic systems.

“If you’re trying to start a business, micro would be helpful,” senior Max Sigler said. “Maybe macro would give you a better understanding of how the whole economy works and just generally make you smarter politically.”

Liberatore and McDermott intended to switch to macroeconomics this school year, but a paperwork error delayed their plans for a year. As such, they already prepared last summer to teach macroeconomics.

“I think it’s important that the economics class connects with Gov., which is first semester,” junior Jeffery Chen said. “I’m more interested in focusing on the bigger picture of economics.”