HighSchoolRant(tm) -- Accelerated Science high-school
topic: Letter to High-School Superintendent
Accelerated Science, a course recommended by the freshman counselors as a good preparatory class for students who plan to study more advanced sciences, was a complete waste of time.
The material was not only not advanced enough for a ninth grade course designated for above average students but was also redundant. In addition, there was no laboratory technique taught preparing students for more advanced laboratory courses.
formats: HTML (2.8kB) 1993-06-03 quality 2
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Letter to High-School Superintendent

Accelerated Science Program

6-9-1993.

Annette and Steve Smith
W308 N7161 Club Court
Hartland, WI, 53029
June 9, 1993

Dr. John Box, Superintendent, and
The Arrowhead School Board
Hartland, WI, 53029

Dear Dr. Box and School Board Members, special attention curriculum committee,
In evaluating the contributions Arrowhead High School has made to our son Zak's education through his junior year, several observations are worthy of your time and serious consideration.

This letter concerns one of those issues.

Accelerated Science, a course recommended by the freshman counselors as a good preparatory class for students who plan to study more advanced sciences, was a complete waste of time.

The material was not only not advanced enough for a ninth grade course designated for above average students but was also redundant. In addition, there was no laboratory technique taught preparing students for more advanced laboratory courses.

In my communications with other parents I have become aware that our reaction is not unique: above average students entering high school, enthusiastically interested in the sciences, are capable of studying biology or chemistry as freshman. Those recommending Accelerated Science overestimate the course worthiness and greatly underestimate the considerable science knowledge that many of our students have acquired previous to high school.

At the time a student enters high school both student and parents look to the school for recommendation for scheduling. In spite of proposals from within the science department for the last several years that the poor quality of the Accelerated Science course be corrected, the high school continues to offer and recommend this course. When a school recommends a course that wastes two semesters of a students science time in high school, it sends a message that it has not put the students' academic interest first, that it does not value the students' time.

The way the Arrowhead curriculum is structured students seem to run out of time and scheduling opportunities in their junior and senior years to take the courses that would make Arrowhead High School Graduate grads prepared with the best: Advanced physics, chemistry, and biology, physiology anatomy, botany, discrete math and computer science (not elementary computer science --that's another issue).

Note that Zak did take biology and geometry as a freshman and chemistry and physics as a sophomore, curriculum choices I would recommend to any other parent of a student interested in science. Perhaps the counseling staff should do the same.

Sincerely,
Steve Smith
Annette Smith


[Zak Smith] [zak@computer.org] [/~zak/documents/high-school/hs-rant-accelerated-science/html]
$Id: documents,v 1.5 2000/09/28 21:20:39 zak Exp zak $
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