Find x in the middle of a haystack the size of Manhattan. Find angle B using only a rubber band, a paperclip and duct tape. You’ve taken MacGyver mathematics, right? Now what’s a comma splice? The difference between their, there and there?
At West High an inordinate amount of stress is placed on mathematics and science fields. Advanced courses in those subjects can begin as early as Junior High, with some high school students accelerating to college classes before their upperclassmen years.
At our school, there was no such thing as an advanced Freshman English class. Next year, however, that will be different. Freshmen will have the option to do material that qualifies them as taking honors English.
Not all agree with this move, but, in all fairness, if one student accelerates to an advanced class because they excel at a subject, the same should be done for a student in another subject, no matter what it is. Everyone is different. Those differences should be embraced and nurtured, even if they aren’t characteristics that will make outstanding alumni, but rather perhaps an enriched and happy alumni.
Transient properties go to the dogs when teaching kids how to read numbers, but not how to express themselves properly. There’s no logic in knowing long division but not being able to speak clearly and get ideas across. Progress will never be made without expression of success, even if a student can solve baffling Physics equations in seconds, their progress will be measured in steps instead of leaps without language.
English what we speak with, write with, text with, and think with. At West, a person taking a higher level math class uses English to learn it, English to ask questions, and English in their notes.
History and social sciences help determine our world and the way we interpret ourselves and our mistakes. Learning from history is the best way to not make the errors our forefathers did, and to regain a peace in being human, in the achievements we’ve attained since BCE.
Before challenging upgraded English courses, I challenge you. Explain a math concept without communication. Explain evolution without historical references.