Most students around campus have noticed that our school has an advanced math class, better known as Math Enrichment, for students in all grade levels. However, some students have also noticed that our school is lacking an advanced language arts class. Most students don’t have a problem with this, but there are some students who don’t find this situation fair. I think there should be an advanced language arts class to give the more advanced students the challenge they are looking for.
There are people that argue that kids above or below grade level should stay in classes with the kids at grade level to balance out the class. They argue that the kids with higher abilities should help balance out classes and teach the kids with lower abilities. This theory doesn’t make sense to me, because the kids that really struggle may need a separate class and the kids who are more advanced may get bored helping students in a standard class. At Fremont, we offer classes to give kids extra help in language arts, but we don’t offer a class to give kids an extra challenge in language arts.
When an eighth-grade language arts teacher, Mrs. Swanson, was asked why or why not she thinks there should be an advanced language arts class, she responded with, “I think that there shouldn’t be an advanced language arts class for the middle school level, but I definitely think it’s a good idea when you go to high school.” She feels that it’s too early to separate out students, and wants to give students a chance to work up to a more advanced level. She also likes balancing out students to get good classroom development and having role models. She does believe in challenging students though, by having more advanced students doing things like reading classic books for their homework.
Another reason the situation is not fair, however, is because there is an advanced math class to help prepare students for high school, but students don’t have an advanced language arts class to help prepare students for high school. Some people may argue that people will use math more in their lives than language arts and that math is active in everyday life. Even though that may be true, we read in almost anything and everything we do. Without reading there wouldn’t be a way to teach math, so it it isn’t right to say it can’t be applied to everyday life.
Overall, it is not fair to punish the kids who are smarter by not giving them curriculum that they could benefit from. I think there should be an advanced language arts class to replace a standard language arts class, or at least an extra elective for it. I hope the school board will at least consider this option. I’m in eighth grade, so even if the school board decides to insert that class, I will probably be in high school by that time. However, I would love for this school to have that class to benefit other students.