Honors English could be Eliminated for Upperclassmen

By Ivana Kosir

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A new proposal from the English department leaves Honors English out as a course option for juniors and seniors. Students will have to enroll in a regular English course or an Advanced Placement course.

According to English director Sanlida Cheng, the time when the change would take place is still unknown.

“In my opinion, if it does [change], I would want it to be for the 2013-2014 school year, but we don’t know if it’s going to happen,” Cheng said.

The idea of eliminating the Honors English courses is to help students become more adept in English and eventually prepare them for further education, according to Cheng.

“Students will benefit from more in AP classes, especially [Great American Writers, or more commonly known as GAW],” Cheng said.

Sophomore English students will have to make a decision and select which junior-year course to enroll in: regular English or an AP course. If students decide to take ALCUSH junior year, AP U.S. History will not be an option. In order to prevent the hindrance of this scenario, a bridge course will be offered over the summer that would serve as an intense preparation for the AP English course so that students can take other AP classes such as APUSH as well.

Teachers have mixed feelings about the alteration.

“I think [the elimination of honors tracking] is a bad idea. There are some students who don’t belong in an AP class, and some that don’t belong in a regular class. Or there are some students who are taking a lot of AP classes, and an Honors English class would be better for them,” said sophomore honors English teacher Sharon Swanson.

“I think that AP curriculum is one of the most powerful curricula out there. I only wish every junior had a year that they studied analysis, nonfiction, and rhetoric. The biggest con is that as we flatten all these classes, classes become more diverse as learning styles go. It’s difficult to teach with radical learning styles,” said GAW teacher David Klingenberger.

“I do like the idea that more students might feel compelled to take AP. But I am concerned that AP might scare some students, and they might end up in regular,” said sophomore honors English teacher Jody Weatherington.

Senior Christina Leon agrees with Weatherington.

“It’s important for people to push themselves, but the rigor of the AP class might be too intimidating, and they should have that option [of Honors English],” said Leon.

Sophomore Summer Brunson agrees.

“There’s not much variety [in not having Honors English]. A lot of people don’t want to do AP, and it leaves us no choice,” said Brunson.

Sophomore Mukti Bulsara feels otherwise.

“Honors is sort of like AP. If you want to do well, you will do well. It’s just a little more work,” said Bulsara.

Klingenberger said change is what is causing controversy within this subject.

“The biggest problem is all change is painful. Nobody wants to experience change,” he said.