Thursday, June 7, 2012

Let's stop calling it "College Prep"

Not for everyone.
All around this country, we call classes "Honors", "College Prep", regular, or whatever.  It seems to me that this is a bad way to divide the students. I've found (and you have, too) that most students fall into categories width-wise instead of vertically.

Maryanne was definitely going to college. She was great in English class, loved history, was an artist in the 1% bracket and hated math.  She never thought she was good at it. She made it through algebra II in junior year and considered herself finished and had no intentions of signing up for a math class senior year. .

Why was she in college-prep algebra II with the pre-engineer kids who ate up math, but hated English? Because they were all going to college and the course was college-prep. Why do we think that the mechanics-to-be and the farmers can't do high-level geometry and algebra II? What if they enjoy math but are most interested in building cars -- don't they need math, too? Can't the Future Farmers enjoy math even if they have no intention of going to college?

This is awesome. I want it.
Why can't we accept that kids aren't going to be superior in every subject?  Certainly none of the adults I know are that way. If a kid is going to beauty-school ( "college" ), is she really needing algebra II with the kids who love it and do really well in math every year?

Let's instead have "Hate math algebra II" and "Love math algebra II".

Separate the kids by interest and enjoyment of subject, not by future plans that may or may not have anything to do with ability in the subject.


  1. Hey Curmudgeon,

    I've been a school counselor for many years, and I highly agree that kids can't be superior in every subject and it boggles my mind even to this day why our education system is setup so that students have to take courses that are unrelated to their field of study. Its not like any of us remember in that boring Advanced Egyptian Mathematics course...

  2. I want to teach the Hate math Algebra 2!!

  3. OR we could just have "algebra 2". You either take the course or you don't. There *are* no gradations.

  4. Wasn't Integrated Math supposed to be for the algebra haters?