“Historically, the concept of advanced learning and honors has served to segregate students based on race, socioeconomic status and special education status,” School Board member Savion Castro said. And when these students do access the advanced classes, they often report feeling “isolated, feeling tokenized and experiencing a white-washed curriculum.”
“I think we all agree that disparities at this level are unacceptable, and change is needed,” board member Chris Gomez Schmidt said. “In my opinion, our focus should be on addressing the barriers to access and preparation for these courses instead of dismantling the courses themselves.”
“Stand-alone and earned honors can coexist to create more opportunity for more students,” she said.
Multiple parents contacted by the State Journal weren’t willing to be quoted for this article, saying the contentious issue had become toxic.
Green said honors courses are just a “singular point” in advanced coursework, which includes expanding advanced classes and more experiential learning and internships.
Regardless of whether the stand-alone honors courses are still around next year, the district plans to implement a universal approach to the earned-honors credits. All ninth-graders will be required to take an advanced course, which could include a course that offered earned-honors credits.
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