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Subtracting Advanced Math

By Sania Daniyal

School districts, including Sewanhaka, have been moving to eliminate all accelerated math options prior to eleventh grade. This insinuated mixed opinions in regards to the matter, especially with the removal of accelerated math courses. Some students dislike the idea of no accelerated content, while others may endorse the change.

Source by Kristen Schneider

Advanced math classes are being removed for future years and students at NHP.

“In my opinion, I do not see how the removal of advanced classes in any subject matter is helping stronger students with more advanced aptitudes to reach their full potential,” science teacher Ms. Stone said. "I am worried that we will experience a decrease in students' math and problem-solving ability which will have a direct correlation with performance in science and AP courses.”

“I think standardization is harmful to students. I believe that individual aptitudes should be valued and nurtured, and standardization just cannot do that," sophomore Guranaad Kaur said. "I appreciate that the school is offering more courses, especially AP courses which can challenge those who seek more in their school curriculum. However, I do miss some of the rigor (especially in STEM classes) that is lost with standardization.”

Starting with the Class of 2024, there will not be any rankings provided to students. Rankings have been used to apply for scholarships and college admission. Using class rank, according to some parents and students, puts pupils at a disadvantage in competitive high schools, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges with optional testing policies have placed more of an emphasis on class rank as a comparative measurement.

“I like the idea of not having a class ranking list, as it doesn't force people to have unnecessary stress placed on them and allows everyone to focus on being the best them that they can be," sophomore Grace Heskial said. "Competition and having Expectations is good at times, but they can also be very unhealthy if excessive. What I would like, however, would be an opportunity to know where I lie on the class ranking list around the end of my senior year. It's something that I would be interested in knowing and it allows for students to be able to leave high school knowing how much they accomplished, if they choose, without the added pressures.”

Class rankings place students in order based on their GPA. The pursuit of weighted marks adds to the workload and, most likely, to the stress levels of students. But it may also mean that students would be compelled to drop courses that may be beneficial to them outside of academia. It can have potential advantages of saving students money by delivering college credits that AP does not, but it may be a poor choice for a student striving for a top-class ranking if the high school does not value it as highly as an AP class, but rather as an elective.

“I am profoundly in favor of removing a ranking system. In my opinion, you can only accurately compare students by a rank system if they have taken the same exact courses every year for their entire high school education and that’s not going to happen," said Ms. Stone. "What really compares one student to another who both have great academic achievement is not the 100s that each person has but ALL the other things they do for their school and community.”

Removing accelerated courses cuts both ways. Students who require additional time to obtain sufficient understanding could be left behind without comprehension of the curriculum in their math classes. Tutors may be necessary for some students in order to keep up with their peers, but not all students have access to tutoring services or parents with an educational background that allow them to aid their children in their school work.


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