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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 4, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Honors classes in high school

Forcing students to take AP classes won’t solve the problem

Superintendent of Federal Way Public Schools Rob Neu writes that “all students should be exposed to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and honors course work.” Yes, they should and they are. But the headline demands: [“Enroll students automatically in AP and honors classes,” Opinion, May 26]. There is a huge difference between “should be exposed” and forcing students into AP classes that they have no interest in. Which one is it?

The Federal Way school district’s students may all be above average, but it seems that the classes with “easy teachers” fill up first.

We keep reading how much better European and Asian students do. Well, many European schools are track based — academic and technical — and the tests are based on the track the students are in. These countries don’t seem to favor our present one-size-fits-all educational philosophy.

The reality is that too many students have no use for school. Placing them into AP or honors classes won’t make them scholars.

Columnist Bruce Ramsey described the problem of education realistically when he said that as long as students don’t do their part, politicians can reform until they’re blue in the face and nothing will change. What was education like 50 years ago? Have the reforms made a positive difference?

James Behrand, Bainbridge Island

Comments | Topics: advanced placement, AP, classes

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