As two graduating seniors who have consistently enrolled in the most rigorous courses offered by LBHS, we encourage the school board to reinstate the grade point weighting of honors courses.
Yes, high school students should only take advanced classes in which they have a genuine interest; however, many times that interest is obscured by the standard class. For many students, the subject matter of a particular class can only be intriguing if presented in an advanced manner. A significant number of students discover their desired collegiate path through high school classes. Unweighting honors classes hinders the development of that passion.
The stripping of the increased grade point indisputably diminishes the appeal of honors courses. By lessening the students’ motivations to challenge themselves, many upper class Advanced Placement classes become gated. Students may find breaking into the paths of higher-level math, science, English, and Spanish unfeasible without an honors foundation. Of course, those AP classes truly matter in the college admissions process, but without under class honors courses to initiate those pathways, capable students may remain stuck in standard classes.
Of the over 220 graduating seniors of the class of 2018, only around 11 percent planned to attend a UC school. Therefore, the alignment with the UC weighting system seems almost arbitrary given that nearly half of the class of 2018 planned to attend an out-of-state or private California university and would have been disadvantaged in that pursuit by the current rule.
Granting honors courses the heavier weighting not only strengthens students’ college prospects, but also allows students to discover which subject areas matter most to them. To accelerate students is to allow the potential to excel.
Cole Hunt & Kate Gilles, Laguna Beach