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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial: Find the middle ground

By Denebola
Published: October 2007
This year saw the introduction of a new course at Newton South: Honors Biology.
The science Department created the course primarily because many juniors who had taken Honors Chemistry as sophomores felt torn; they would be bored in curriculum one biology, but they did not want to take the notoriously grueling AP course.
The creation of a middle-of-the-road science course for juniors begs the question: why is there no equivalent in the History Department?
Juniors have the option of taking AP, Curriculum One, or Curriculum Two US History. Sophomores who felt that they were not challenged in their Curriculum One Modern World History course face a particularly difficult decision.
Not having taken the first six chapters of notes in Alan Brinkley’s American History: A Survey as the Honors students did, their only option for a more challenging course junior year requires them to take all the notes over the summer–188 pages in the eighth edition. For students who go away the entire summer, this is simply not feasible.
The history Department should follow the Science Department’s lead. Juniors who want to be challenged but do not want to take the immense volume of notes that defines the AP course, should have another option.
A Junior Honors US History course would provide a third option, decrease the sizes of the Curriculum One and AP classes, and draw motivated students. Find the middle ground
This year saw the introduction of a new course at Newton South: Honors Biology.
The science Department created the course primarily because many juniors who had taken Honors Chemistry as sophomores felt torn; they would be bored in curriculum one biology, but they did not want to take the notoriously grueling AP course.
The creation of a middle-of-the-road science course for juniors begs the question: why is there no equivalent in the History Department?
Juniors have the option of taking AP, Curriculum One, or Curriculum Two US History. Sophomores who felt that they were not challenged in their Curriculum One Modern World History course face a particularly difficult decision.
Not having taken the first six chapters of notes in Alan Brinkley’s American History: A Survey as the Honors students did, their only option for a more challenging course junior year requires them to take all the notes over the summer–188 pages in the eighth edition. For students who go away the entire summer, this is simply not feasible.
The history Department should follow the Science Department’s lead. Juniors who want to be challenged but do not want to take the immense volume of notes that defines the AP course, should have another option.
A Junior Honors US History course would provide a third option, decrease the sizes of the Curriculum One and AP classes, and draw motivated students.

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