Editorial: All classes, all levels

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Our Position: LT should offer all levels of a course for required classes to give students the best learning experience possible

LT requires 14 academic classes (Civics, Consumer Economics, English I, English II, English III, English IV, Health, Algebra, Geometry, one additional math, Biology, Chemistry, U.S. History, and World History) and half of these classes are not available at every level (preparatory, accelerated, honors/AP). At a school the size of LT, it is surprising that some of LT’s student body is required to take classes that are not offered at the level that best fits them.

Each individual student is unique and learns at a different pace. Not offering all levels of required classes does not take this into account. For example: in English IV offers no accel level. For some, the AP level might be too challenging or be too much of a time commitment, but the other only option is prep, where they might not be challenged.

It also must be taken into account that each student has different after-school activities, work loads and strengths. It is unrealistic to assume that every student at LT should be placed in the exact same classes. Homogeneous classrooms-those with students of similar abilities-can have a lesson plan tailored to the ability of the group as a whole, rather than having to address students with a variety of abilities and needs. Students feel more comfortable in a group with peers with the ability to learn at about the same speed, according to hundreds of student surveys conducted by sociology researcher Beth Lewis.

It is unnecessary for an accel level Physics or English student to be forced to take the AP version of these classes, when their only other option is feeling unchallenged in a prep class. In AP classes, teachers teach with the intention of preparing their students for the AP test. This format is completely useless for accel level students who would benefit from a slower pace or an additional lesson.

Students are more productive in classrooms that are suited best for them. Students learn better in an environment with peers at the same level as them, and work more effectively.

LT should allow all students to be as successful as possible by offering all available levels of all required classes in order to help a student thrive.