We have a pushing problem

Maggie Gonzalez, Hi-Gusher Staff

It was an average day in my AP English Language class, when the question was presented to me.
“Do you think students are being pushed too hard in school?”
There is no easy way to answer this question.  Every class placement is decided in an organized fashion.
There are three types for core classes: Regular, Pre-Advanced Placement and Advanced Placement.
Each placement has a different scale used to find the student grade point average (GPA).  Each placement has its own difficulty level. Regular is very basic, and AP is a more in-depth, higher level class.
I’ve participated in each of the placements before.
Based on my experiences in a regular classroom, there are students who try, and usually they are moved to higher placement classes because teachers see potential in them.
Pre-AP classes are pretty much stepping stones to AP.  Even the exams for these placement ranges differ.
I have had experiences in regular classes that weren’t bad. Regular classes tend to be more thoroughly explained and at a slower pace.
I have heard a few inappropriate comments from AP students, going as far as saying they’d rather struggle in an AP class than take a regular class.
This really makes you think about the type of environment regular classes provide.
In regular classes, I have noticed more distractions and greater lack of control in the classroom.  One could say this is the teacher’s fault, but is it really their fault when the students don’t put effort in trying to learn?
Regular classes need to begin trying harder. Not harder in a sense of making the work more difficult, but by putting more effort into the regular students.  Help them get up to code and improve the curriculum. Teachers should crack down harder on disruptive students and push them to learn, too.
Some regular students choose not to advance to AP because they think it is “too hard,” “too much work” or that it’s the same curriculum as regular “just more work.”  They pass up the AP opportunities even though if you make a certain grade on you AP exam, you are rewarded with a money prize.
I enjoy taking more advanced classes because they are prerequisites to various other courses.  In a sense, they open windows to other classes that you would enjoy more.  For instance, Computer Business Applications is a fairly difficult class, but it gives you a chance to earn your Microsoft Word Certificate, which is required for some college courses.  It’s saddening when you see students make up a schedule, and there isn’t much variety on the sheet.
Many wonder when the schools become so divided when it came to learning,  why some kids are behind versus why some are ahead of the game.
Students aren’t being pushed too hard in school. They aren’t being pushed hard enough, nor in the right way or direction.