The fight for classroom control continues

Gabriela d'Souza, Staff Writer

English teachers attended a school board meeting today to voice their opinion on the increasing loss of control in their own classrooms.

The Sequoia Union High School District held a vote to decided if it should pilot a program in English I/II Strategic (support) classes during the second semester that would give teachers specific guidelines, reading materials, and strategies with which they must teach.

At the meeting, people reviewed the effect of mandatory benchmark exams on student work along with pacing guides, and choices of literature for the future.

Core novels would be chosen for English I Intensive courses from the California ninth-grade English Language Arts’ Recommended Reading List, based on both interest and readability of the Sequoia Union’s ninth-grade students.

Many English teachers, especially those who teach ninth and tenth grade English, do not like the strict borders in which they can teach because they feel it takes away their own power to control their class.

Teachers also feel that with all the newly required changes in the curriculum many of their students will be discouraged from creativity, interactive work, and set on a pace much to fast for their own learning abilities.

“People in regular English have it easier, but they aren’t dumb and they should still read [as much as the advanced students],” said Melissa Talgo, an AS English II student.

If the pilot classes were to succeed the English I Intensive courses offered in the Sequoia Union High School District would become catch-up courses and the novels read by students would increase in difficulty as the student progresses through each unit.

Some students have expressed a sense of relief when hearing that they might not have to read hard novels because it is not as fun as doing activities in class.

There is a possibility that benchmark exams and pacing requirements will also be required for science and social studies classes in the year 2013.

There are many new changes coming to Carlmont, so if anyone feels they need to support their opinion then join the faculty at the board meeting.