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Is it just AVHS? Cont'd
Original post made
by Wondering, Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Feb 27, 2012
Opening the thread again (about We the People) since the original was limited by the PW staff to registered members.
Posted by AKong
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm
AKong is a registered user.
Wondering, in response to your post:
>>"1) Create several sections of Comp Civics and allow every interested and qualified student to enroll. Allow every section to compete and see what happens. Only one would move on to nationals, but at least every student/section was given a chance.
2) Do not offer it as a class. Instead, offer Comp Civics the same way Mock trial is offered: as a club, NOT a class."
1) Every interested and qualified student is given the opportunity to try out for WTP/CC much like for other PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSES that others have mentioned: band, choir, yearbook, journalism, etc. How is WTP/CC any different from them? Would you suggest multiple sections of these classes? Do you even realize how much extra funding it would take? If you're that adamant about your belief that such a class should not exist, then you would have to get rid of the aforementioned classes as well to be "fair". Good luck with that.
>>""There are a lot of schools that can't even offer 30 kids a chance to participate."
And that, I believe, is not right. Someone had posted a case "Daniel v. California" and I looked it up: it seems that someone went to court because lower income districts did not have AP classes, thus denying lower income and minority students equal access to classes that were key in college admissions. The case would apply to "We the People" if some lower income districts are not offering it due to lack of money/qualified personnel."
These classes are not "key" to college admissions. Yes, having tons of AP or honors classes does beef up your application. But every college in the nation looks at applications IN CONTEXT OF THEIR SCHOOL AND ENVIRONMENT. In other words, I might have only taken 2 AP classes over the course of my high school career, but if those are the only two AP classes my school offers because I live in a lower income district with a lack of money/qualified personnel, then I am just as strong a student as someone who has the opportunity to take these other classes. You can call up any college you want and ask; all admission officers will tell you this exact same thing. And please don't try to say I'm exaggerating. I just spent over six months researching and applying to colleges. Go ahead and call them, really. I'll wait.
>>"For those who said offering more sections means hiring more teachers: WRONG! All teachers already teach 6 periods, so the Comp Civics instructor would have 6, instead of 1, section. And like in other activities, the instructor can then be part of the after school club, with a stipend financed by those in that particular club."
Actually, YOU'RE wrong. My WTP/CC teacher, for example, already has a full schedule (as I'm sure all other WTP/CC teachers do). If he took on more WTP/CC classes, who would teach his other classes? Certainly not the other teachers. They've got their hands full with their owns schedules. The only thing you could do would be to hire more teachers. Unless you're suggesting that he simply drop those other classes for other students to teach more WTP/CC? I'm sorry, where's the fairness in that?
>>""Wondering, I think you are misunderstanding. We The People/Comp Civics is exactly like a competitive sports team, band or other competitive extra-curricular activities. Those students who qualify for the football team get PE credit for that."
I researched this, Patricia. You are not quite right (see the program guide on the AVHS website). In order for a football player to get credit, he must be on the team for all high school, and even then he would only get to waive half of the PE requirement (10 credits needed, 5 waived). They do not get to be in a class. Each student must apply for the waiver and get it approved, students do not earn a grade for PE, just a waiver. It is a very different situation with Comp Civics.
Comp Civics is a class that offers credit (and a grade) in just the one semester the students are a part of it (versus having to participate every season throughout high school to get half credit for a sport). (at least according to the information I found on the AVHS website and by talking to a parent whose child, now a graduate, was in sports)"
As a four year varsity athlete, I have to admit that your information about the sports is correct. However, WTP/CC is not just one semester. At most schools, it is a year long class that is an ALTERNATIVE to one semester of AP Government and one semester of AP Economics. Not everyone wants to take WTP/CC, even those who are "qualified" for it. In fact, WTP/CC is identical to AP Gov/Econ but for the 10 or so extra hours we put in at school and countless more at home to prepare for competition. You might say that kids who take AP Gov/Econ don't get to use the same materials or don't have the same curriculum. This is false. The curriculum is exactly the same, just sped up. We learn so much more because WE put in the time to do our OWN research on our OWN time.
>>"No Public school should behave the way private schools or clubs do, and Congress should not fund programs that are discriminatory in nature."
Ahem. Public universities are discriminatory in nature. Should we cut funding for them too? Also, a right to receive an education at a public school does not translate to a right to certain classes.
Wondering, I respect your opinions and your strong sense of justice. Unfortunately, they are misplaced in this situation. Should you have any other questions or criticisms, I and my companions on this thread are glad to respond. You're welcome to write to your representatives all you want and fight to abolish this educational program that has changed lives and is actually extremely under-appreciated. Please know that we'll be fighting back just as hard.
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