Are honors classes worth it?

By Annaliese Harper

Imagine you fail an honors math class. You retake it, still honors, and get an A your second time taking the class. Your teacher doesn’t understand why you want to take the next level regular. You did fine, you’ll do fine. It’s not like succeeding in a regular class is better for your GPA than scraping by in an honors class…

Or is it?

“[Colleges] don’t go by your weighted [GPA] because high schools can ‘weigh’ classes however they want,” said Laura Martens, Huntley High School’s college and careers counselor.

Simple GPAs, which is what most colleges look at, is based solely on the grades you receive in the class, not the class itself, which means an A in a regular class would reflect better than a C in an honors class.

While the weighted GPA is called for later, you have to pass the first step to get that far.

Sure, some students can succeed in an honors class. Some students need the challenge to stay focused. But it should not be the norm for all students.

Our school district puts regular classes as a personal failing. I have heard someone refer to regular, on level classes as the ‘dumb class.’ I have had adults tell me that ‘honors classes are more like colleges’ in teaching styles. That ‘responsible students’ are the ones that get recommended.

A student’s accountability has nothing to do with how they learn and retain information. Some students have the ability to look at a text once and remember it until the test. Some students learn through interaction with teachers and other students can retain the information past the test, but take longer to do so.

Pushing more advanced classes not only can cause problems with the student’s GPA and stress, but makes a toxic environment within the school.