On-level courses lack seriousness due to basic expectations, simple curriculum

By Ari Schnitzer | Copy Editor

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Ms. Parker's first period students sit in their desks as the class nears an end

It’s no secret that many on-level courses lack a sense of seriousness as well as the academic drive present in most pre-AP and AP classes. Many factors, including trivial assignments and a soft curriculum, contribute to this view of regular classes at Pearce.

The negative view of regular classes is noticed by students across the school.

“The curriculum isn’t as demanding when compared to pre-AP and AP classes,” junior Elizabeth Martinez said. “Often times the work is seen as pointless. They set the bar too low just to get everyone to pass, which makes the class run too slow for most students.”

The curriculum is the main aspect of on-level courses that is called into question. Some assignments that are given out to students in these courses are seen as overly simple.

“Teachers give out grades where, if you do them, you get a hundred,” junior Daniel Czornyj said.

However, not every on-level teacher has the same expectations, despite the menial expectations that regular courses are generalized as having.

“The teachers can make the classes more or less rigorous,” physics teacher Kat Parker said. “I make my classes more rigorous because I have higher expectations for my students,”

The students themselves are also guilty of contributing to the lack of seriousness in regular classes. Many simply don’t have the motivation to put significant effort into their schoolwork

“It’s not that on-level classes are easy, The students may not want to challenge themselves as much,” Ms. Parker said.

Clearly some classes are better than others, but that doesn’t negate the fact that a large number of on-level classes have days where the students simply don’t work hard.

“The majority of the class sleeps,” Daniel said.

Ultimately, no one side is to blame for the faults found in regular courses. Fingers can be pointed to many different people for these flaws.

“Students shouldn’t set the bar that low to begin with, and administrators definitely shouldn’t be solidifying those standards when they should be the ones trying to elevate them,” Elizabeth said.

There are possible solutions to add a sense of legitimacy to on-level classes. Simple steps could be taken to ensure that the classes are functioning to the best of their ability.

“Classes could have more interactive activities so students can fully ascertain what’s going on,” Daniel said.

Most people are aware of the purpose of regular courses. They are offered so that the average student, regardless of his/her intellect or work ethic, can receive the necessary credits from those classes needed to graduate. With that said, just because a class isn’t on pre-AP or AP level doesn’t mean that it should drop to a class requiring minimal effort.

The only thing that should separate an on-level class from a pre-AP or AP class is the total amount of work, as well as the next-level details only taught in the higher-caliber classes.

On-level teachers need to make sure that even if their classes are somewhat easier on the whole, students still have to earn their grades and learn the information necessary to succeed in a particular class.

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Categories: Opinion

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