Prioritizing Course Consistency – The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

There is a distinct lack of uniformity within the courses.

Ohen course selections become available each March, eager sophomores and juniors enroll in courses that offer them a chance to broaden their horizons and explore topics they are passionate about.

As they determine the schedule they want for the upcoming school year, they are faced with critical choices: which electives they want to take, which subjects they enjoy the most, and whether they will move up or down. on an academic path. Students are divided into different teaching sections as their schedules are formed. The lack of uniformity between teaching styles leads to varying degrees of difficulty, different assignments, and inconsistent assessment methods within the same course.

Some Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB teachers, for example, assign online quizzes that can be taken as many times as needed until a perfect score is achieved, while others only give quizzes only once on paper without curve or recovery to earn points. . This latter policy puts students at a disadvantage, as they are less likely to earn a higher grade after learning the same subject. The AP US History (APUSH) inconsistencies extend beyond the quizzes. While one section takes its only exam of the semester, another takes its fifth written test after weeks of quizzes and ever more assigned textbook reading.

As students attending an extraordinary educational institution, we must not deny the value of our teachers’ unique classroom environments. Teachers are the backbone of our school experience and luckily our school is full of brilliant teachers. It’s unrealistic to expect all classes to feel exactly the same when taught by different people, and it’s up to us to adapt and enjoy how we learn from adults in the room.

But there is a distinct lack of uniformity within the courses; it often feels like two APUSH students with different teachers are enrolled in two totally different courses. This problem is a double-edged sword. Students who signed up for advanced courses but got a simpler version are disappointed, while those who receive comparatively harsher grading and more difficult assignments find the gap unfair.

Teachers are free to determine how they teach their class, but students have no say in what style of teaching would be most effective for them. If students continue to have no such choice, courses should be similar in grading standards and curriculum.

The effects of this discrepancy will live on permanently in our university transcripts. When we apply to college, student transcripts will show that they have taken the same course as others who may have experienced a version so modified that the two are hardly comparable.– but these students, having obtained a higher mark, may appear as more competitive candidates for colleges.

While we value the distinctive excellence of our teachers, we must also ensure that students are not held to unattainable and inconsistent standards –– that all students truly take the same courses from which they have selected titles impressive with care and enthusiasm in the extensive program. guide.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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