Changes In Graduation Requirements Causing Problems for Students
by Rachel Canzoneri
For years, there has always been questioning of our educational system, and there are still many areas in need of improvement. Scheduling and forcing students into taking certain classes is definitely one of those areas.
In order to graduate, each student must acquire twenty one credits, four of which being math credits and four English credits. However, a mandate, formally known as Senate Bill 740, made in 2014 by the State of Maryland is forcing students to take a math and English class every year, regardless of the amount of credits they may have already earned.
“The inflexibility of four years of x, y, and z needs to be revisited” said English teacher Marc MacDonald. MacDonald also said “because certain classes are kept much lower than others, it often limits course availability for things like electives.”
Junior Alexis Vasquez said “I think students should be able to choose their own classes cause it’s their education, not the teachers. I do understand that the guidance counselor’s tend to recommend higher paced classes for college, but not every student plans on going to college.”
“I understand the need for minimum credits, but I think the yearly requirements for math and English classes are ridiculous.” said junior Chanda Kaunda. Junior Kyle Secula said “it’s stupid because it means the people that already have the credits are required to get more credits than those who haven’t already.”
Junior Kyle Matheson said “I think it’s pretty dumb, I should be able to get my credits ahead of time if I can, and then be able to take more electives further down the road.” Junior Andrea Reichard agreed, saying “I don’t like it because we’re forced into classes we don’t need when we could be taking other AP classes instead.”
Junior Denae Hurt said “I think it’s stupid I have to take a fifth math class, even though I only need one more credit to graduate and that’s for English. I could take an elective, but instead I’m being forced into a math class.”
Assistant principal Jason Lininger said “I don’t agree with putting so many students into a bind due to their post high school plans. The mandate is forcing a large population of students to take college level classes when not all of them are college bound.”
Guidance counselor Ryan Defibaugh said “I think the idea behind it is good; the plan is to prepare students for college level classes rather than remedial level. But the timing is causing major issues, and the mandate doesn’t consider the needs of the individual student.”
However, there are some who feel the mandate is actually better for students. Assistant principal Danny Rumpf said “in theory the mandate is good, cause regardless of your plans after high school, the more you challenge yourself the better off you’ll be.”
Assistant principal Sheri Murphy agreed, adding that “the mandate is good, especially if you’re college bound.” Junior Maggie Watcher said “Honestly I think it’s good because it makes you keep up with harder classes.”
Though the mandate may be good in theory, it is obvious that there are many problems arising from the order, such as the scheduling of classes for students and the overall lack of attention on individual students. Personally, the mandate has caused complications in next year’s scheduling that may lead to me taking a math class on campus at FCC-a class I truthfully don’t want to take. And I’m not the only one-a whole population of students are being forced into classes that not only don’t interest them, but aren’t helping them towards their individual goals.