I recently posted a comparative list of the English courses offered to 9th and 10th graders at Madison’s four high schools. The list showed clearly that West High School does not offer its high achieving and highly motivated 9th and 10th grade students the same appropriately challenging English classes that are offered at East, LaFollette and Memorial.
Here is the yield from a similar comparison for 9th and 10th grade Social Studies and Science.
Social Studies — Ninth Grade
East: U.S. History 9, TAG U.S. History (U.S. History or TAG U.S. History required)
LaFollette: Exploring U.S. History, Challenges of Democracy (a.k.a. Advanced U.S. History) (Exploring U.S. History or Challenges of Democracy required)
Memorial: American Experience 1 and 2, 9th grade elective — .25 credit course “Interdisciplinary TAG” (American History 1 and 2 required)
West: U.S. History (required)
Social Studies — Tenth Grade
East: World History, TAG World History, Ethnic Studies, Social Psychology (consent of instructor required for 10th graders only), American Politics and Government (World History or TAG World History required)
LaFollette: World History, Civilizations (a.k.a. Advanced World History), Challenges of Democracy, American Women’s History, AP European History, AP Psychology (World History or Civilizations required)
Memorial: World History, World History AP, American Politics Today, International Relations and National Security Issues, Women In U.S. History, The Ancient World, Modern European History AP (World History required; World History AP can replace World History)
West: Western Civilization 10, Tools for Success in the Social Sciences (World Civilization 10 required)
Science — Ninth Grade
East: Biology I, Biology 9 for Talented and Gifted (number of sections depends on demand)
LaFollette: General Biology I, Honors Biology I (number of sections sections depends on demand)
Memorial: Integrated Science, 9th grade elective — .25 credit course “Interdisciplinary TAG” (Integrated Science required)
West: Biology (embedded honors option available beginning 2006-07), Accelerated Biology (one section of 24 students, regardless of demand)
Science — Tenth Grade
East: Chemistry, Chemistry for Talented and Gifted, Earth Science 1, Earth Science 2, Biology I, Physical Science Chemistry, Physical Science Physics, Advanced Laboratory Science
LaFollette: General Biology I, Honors Biology I, Practical Biological Science, Biology II, Physical Science, Practical Physical Science, General Physics, Math Physics 1 and 2
Memorial: Earth Science 1, Fundamentals of Biology, Biology, General Physics, Chemistry in the Community, Math Chemistry, Chemistry AP, Aircraft Construction (Biology AP is available to 11th and 12th graders — Biology is not a pre-req for Biology AP)
West: Biology (embedded honors option available beginning 2006-07), Biology II, Earth Science, Chemistry, Chemistry in the Community
I have asked the District and West High School administrations to please explain to me how the more limited course offerings at West fulfill the District’s legal responsibilities to the school’s academically talented and highly motivated 9th and 10th grade students, under the requirements set forth by Wisconsin State Standard t.
I have also asked if the District has plans to “re-design” our four high schools with an eye on equity of educational opportunity, in the same way the District’s eleven middle schools were evaluated this year. I have asked if the plan is to bring West in line with the other three high schools or vice versa.
Stay tuned for more.