Right to Balance
Knowing your limits and how much of a workload you can bear is the key to being successful in high school; however, the recent #push for students to take #AP classes has completely changed that. Without the option of accelerated classes, students are forced to choose between regular and AP classes, which have a drastically different atmosphere and workload.
This unnecessary push for more AP students is also hurting the students themselves because it creates an unproductive environment during class. Some student don’t want to be in the class because it is too great of a challenge. For others, this means that the class is moving at too slow a pace for them, which makes the class extremely unbalanced.
But what are a few emotional breakdowns, stress induced migraines, overnighters resulting in two hours of sleep, and a workload that takes a minimum of 2-3 hours to complete a night, per class if it makes the school look better? Is a spot on U.S. Newsweek’s Top 10 schools in the Milky Way List worth the emotional and physical toll the overload takes on the student body?
This lack of choice causes students to either slack off since they can’t handle the extreme or push themselves to their limits in hopes that they’ll get an A. It’s wrong and will only hurt the students in the long run.
College and high school courses are structured differently which puts high school students taking college-level classes at a disadvantage. In college, you take two or three classes a day, and you likely don’t have the same class every day of the week which gives students substantially more time to read, study and complete assignments. A typical college student spends 16-18 hours in school per week; we spend 32.5 hours. We are set up for failure because we don’t have the college-level time for the college-level work we are given.
For students who have extracurricular commitments such as sports, clubs, or even a job, getting all of their classwork done without cutting corners, getting “help” from online answer keys or “borrowing” work from classmates, can be an almost impossible task.
It seems as though the school just wants more AP students so they can win another meaningless award, an award that in no way helps the students of Maine West. This is why the administrators need to take a second to look back and reassess their decisions; are they actually helping the students succeed or is it is just an ego boost for the school? We need to find the middle ground. Give students back their right to choose between AP and accelerated; give students the right to live balanced lives.