Staff Editorial: Honors classes only honor some

Park should encourage honors classes


Leo Justesen

Sophomore Sophia Mavis and Sophomore Ashley Berry studying for IB Chemistry on Jan. 11. The two are striving to work harder and better themselves in this higher level class.

Honors classes give students opportunities in high school, postsecondary education and beyond. These classes allow students to push themselves more on an academic level to meet a goal or receive a grade. Honors classes give students a glimpse of the academic rigor they may experience in college. That being said, honors classes can be overbearing and not all students are interested, or have time to take the courses. 

While honors classes are beneficial, they should not be required. The Echo Editorial board believes that students should continue to be given the choice of deciding the classes they take.  The classes one takes has an immense impact on a student’s life. Park should continue to offer honors classes to those who want the challenge. 

The Echo Editorial board believes that honors classes lack diversity in students, although it is not because the classes are inaccessible. The presentability and long lasting stereotypes regarding advanced courses often leads students to believing they are not smart enough to take them. That being said, students are also made to feel bad about not taking honors classes and it is perceived as weak or lacking. Staff at Park have potential to better this issue by doing a more adequate job of student encouragement. Motivating all students rather than selective groups of them to reach further academically is one way to diversify the students taking advanced courses such as honors classes.

Students often shy away from taking honors classes because there is not equal opportunity offered. The content that honors classes cover is often outdated and focused on primarily Eurocentric themes. Honors classes struggle to create a space where all students are accommodated for and can learn about themselves. Advanced classes are also visibly white and Park is struggling to adapt content relevance to motivate students to take the courses.

Choosing to take an honors class is not always a choice students make in their best interest. In some cases, students are not mentally ready to take honors classes, but make the decision to do so to show colleges that they can take on the challenge honors classes present. Other students take advanced courses because it gives them a glimpse of a college workload. That being said, choosing to take an honors class is heavily impacted by the desire to earn college credit, college perception and sometimes, the desire to put in extra work in high school.

The time consuming workloads that honors classes acquire have strong effects on the lives of students. Homework is a necessary element of classes, but does not help all students learn. The Echo Editorial board believes that those who struggle to meet deadlines and/or have poor time management are more likely to struggle with an intense schedule filled with advanced classes. Vigorous schedules often lead to students having to choose academic priorities due to lack of time in a day to focus on homework, self care, family and attain a social life.

Honors classes are exceptionable opportunities that should be taken into consideration for all students who have time to attempt the challenges advanced courses acquire. The Echo Editorial Board unanimously believes the administration should improve on the ways they encourage students to take honors classes.