Leveled classrooms hang in the balance
January 24, 2018
Students and teachers at our school debate the advantages and disadvantages that come along with having leveled classrooms, by giving you both sides of the story. What are your thoughts on leveled classrooms?
Leveled classrooms aren’t so balanced
Currently, Granite Park has classrooms with core and honors students. This situation is commonly known as leveled classrooms.
Personally, I am not a fan of these mixed classes. I’m in multiple honors classes, and sometimes the core students become way too much of a distraction, in the aspect of being slowed down. Some core students tend to have behavioral issues, which does not benefit classrooms learning. I just get a feeling that some of them don’t care as much. My English class last year was an absolute mess. The teacher was not able to control their students, and once SAGE testing came around, it only got worse.
I went ahead and interviewed some teachers who have leveled classes, here’s what they had to say;
GP Gazette: “How do you feel about having leveled classes?”
Ms.Wilcox: “It’s hard. I feel like we’re not pushing the honors students enough. It does benefit the core students though.”
Mrs. Mijarez: “Honestly, I don’t really like it. I feel like it takes away the honors students chance to grow.”
Ms. Height: “I don’t have enough time with my honor students. I don’t think it benefits the honors students, but I do think it benefits the core students.”
Mr. Jones: “I mean I think there are pros and cons to the leveled classes. One thing that’s good is when you have students at higher levels who can tutor the lower leveled students. However, in some cases, students with higher leveled scores may feel left out.”
Clara Sun Bear-James: “Well, there’s pros and cons really. Honors students are able to help the core students, which helps to advance them. Yet honors students may not want to help them and they also may feel as if they’re not being challenged enough.”
Based off of what the people I interviewed are saying, it’s pretty clear that they aren’t huge fans of having leveled classrooms. Hopefully, the administration will read this article and decide to make our teachers heard on the topic of leveled classrooms.
Leveled classrooms are balanced
Classes should remain the same, honors mixed with cores. Some might think that honor students are more intelligent , but that isn’t all true. If students want to join honors they aren’t required to take a test, they just have to sign a slip and they’re in. Some students are in honors and shouldn’t be, some students are in cores and should really be in honors.
Some teachers think that the problem with mixing the two is behaviour problems, some others think that core students slow down the honor students. Those aren’t really issues, because they don’t always happen. Mixing honors with cores can benefit some of the students. If a core student is stuck on a problem they can ask a student in honors to help them, it works the other way around too. To me, there is no difference between cores and honors.
Every student learns the same topic and does the same work, some students just learn quicker. Honors students should be getting more assignments, but some teachers don’t bother to give it, honors students are also graded differently in some classes like Ms. Low’s math class. “The classes should stay the same, honors mixed with cores. When they’re separated the class sizes are lopsided, either very big or small. The classes should stay the same, but it is so much easier to teach just honors,” said Ms. Low.
I then went to two administrators to ask for their opinions. I asked, “Do you think honors and cores should be mixed up in a class as it is right now, or should they be separated? Please give some details to support your opinion.” “If the teachers like it the way it is, then I support it,” said Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson is leaving this topic for the teachers to decide, if the teachers like it the way it is then he’s fine with it, if the teachers want it the other way that works too.
Mr. Clark says “I think they’re good together, they can help each other.”
Based off of the results of the interviews, the two being mixed up is beneficial.