Letter: Here’s a compromise for the de-leveling dilemma

Posted 4/29/21

To the editor:

I've been observing the ongoing debate in town regarding the planned changes to the ninth and tenth grade English classes and wanted to share a suggestion on how we might resolve …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Letter: Here’s a compromise for the de-leveling dilemma

Posted

To the editor:

I've been observing the ongoing debate in town regarding the planned changes to the ninth and tenth grade English classes and wanted to share a suggestion on how we might resolve this contentious issue.

Having listened to the various perspectives, I think the best way forward would be to retain the existing ninth and tenth grade honors English classes while also offering the planned new ninth and tenth grade English classes with the optional honors projects. All entering ninth and tenth graders would be free to choose their preferred English course each year, and all students would have the opportunity to earn honors distinction, either by pursuing a voluntary honors project or by completing an open-enrollment honors course with more rigorous and intensive content on a daily basis.

As I understand it, the primary motivation for the planned changes to the ninth and tenth grade English classes is to offer access to the honors designation for all students, and I very much agree with this effort to promote inclusivity and equal opportunity for all. At the same time, as a parent of children at both the high school and the middle school, it's clear to me that students who have reached high school should be given the choice of taking more challenging courses on a daily basis, if they wish, rather than offering only one uniform English course per grade level and transferring the honors component to an optional project - with that optional project becoming the only route toward honors distinction in ninth and tenth grade English classes. There is also the likelihood that many highly capable students who are busy with extracurricular activities and athletics will end up not completing optional honors projects on grounds that their schedules are already jam-packed.

Given these factors as well as the very significant opposition in the school community to the planned elimination of the honors English courses, I hope the high school will instead offer its students and families the best of both worlds with two different pathways for all ninth and tenth graders to earn honors distinction in their English classes. This strategy would enrich the course offerings in English for all students at the high school and could also be applied to expand the pathways for honors distinction in other departments, as well. 

Sincerely,

Hans Schattle

Barrington

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.