Updated: De-leveling Columbia

My support for the de-leveling of our school system is based on the hope that the new system put in place helps students have more faith in themselves. 

What’s especially frustrating is that a ‘B’ in a Level 2 is worth less than a ‘B’ in a Level 3, which is worth less than a ‘B’ in a Level 4, which is less than a “B” in an AP course.

Level 2 “B’ < Level 3 “B’ < Level 4 “B” < “B” AP course.

Basically, all ‘B’s aren’t created equal. And when you’re at the far left of the spectrum it’s easy to question your level of intelligence. 

It’s really easy to think you’re not particularly smart when you get placed into a level 2 class. Sadly, in our district, the majority of level 2 students are students of color. Read more about this.

If anything, I’ve come to realize that ace-ing class exams and being successful professionally are not related. Some students are simply poor test takers.

In high school, a 4.0 doesn’t mean you’ll become president of a multi-national corporation, and a 2.0 doesn’t mean you won’t graduate with a PhD from Harvard.

The power of education is to empower students to succeed. High school is a step forward to help you/everyone achieve your/their dreams as you/they pursue work opportunities after graduation, attend college or do both simultaneously.

Grades are only part of the story.

And, this summer, I had a chance to attend a college graduation at Spelman and walked away touched by how much the students were empowered by their experience. 

Don’t think once that I don’t value the quality of education I had at Columbia because I do. We have an excellent school system – with a not so excellent level system. In the midst of this process we should maintain our AP program for students seeking a compressive, intensive class environment. We should open these classes to every student as other schools in our state do. 

It’s my hope that, if a current student placed in level 2 classes, or even a level 3 student making ‘C’s, doubts their ability, they know this: Their class level does not define them.

And yes, they can get to their college commencement too.

While it’s too late for some of my age group who graduated in 2000, we can’t let the different qualities of learning/educational experiences thwart current efforts.

I hope these Spelman women inspire all students to not give up. College is waiting post Columbia.

Updated July 13, 2012 l Unsure of where I found image.

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PerfectlyPlanned Blog by W. S. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License


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