What happened to regular English?

Clarisa Laurent, Staff Writer

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This year, Freedom, among several schools in Hillsborough county, have decided to turn all English classes into honors. Other courses that have been made honor only courses are: U.S. Government, Economics and Biology.

The early feedback from this decision so far is concerning for many teachers. The combination of these classes makes it difficult to teach multi-leveled students in one class period.

“They have to find the balance where the level five student isn’t bored and the level one isn’t overwhelmed,” explained Mr. Smith, FHS’ Assistant Principal for Curriculum. This level is determined by state test scores.

Smith believes there is a solution, “Teachers need to differentiate their instruction. Classes need high level team leaders to coach lower level students,” He also went on to add, “It takes time to determine what strategies work best, right now it’s just trial and error.”

The thought behind this idea was to motivate lower level students in a different environment to score higher. Seven to eight “regular” students are mixed into honors classes. Their motivation and behavior raise the bar for other students to behave accordingly, aiding their chance to succeed.

However, this is a trial period. By the beginning of next year, factors such as motivation, behavior and test scores will be re-evaluated.

Mr. Smith is positive of what the outcome will be, “Hopefully, this will promote growth in all students.”

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