The academic segregation of American high schools

Max Miranda and Eli Lefcowitz

Like it or not, there is a problem in Schreiber that no one seems to be speaking about: there is a social division between students in honors and regular courses. The problem expands far beyond our high school, but we are no exception. The American school system inherently calls for separation between students who are more and less advanced. This creates a divide that expands beyond academics. The separation of students of different abilities leads to social divergence and to a less cooperative school atmosphere.

The division between honors and non-honors students ensures the creation of two spheres. This is due to a degree of elitism that takes hold when a student takes progressively more honors classes. All of a sudden a student falsely thinks that they are somehow superior to classmates who are not as academically advanced.

In addition, there are problems that this elitism can breed, such as a stigma against those who do not do as well in school, which can create inferiority complexes in these students. In truth, students who are not accelerated in a certain subject are certainly not less intelligent than their honors counterparts.

Someone who is less successful in one area may excel in another.  The notion that someone is a failure because they are not in a honors class is untrue and is incredibly rude and demoralizing to these students. All of a sudden they will see themselves as underdogs going up against a gang of elitist bulldogs and the system. This antagonism of the school system is completely counterproductive to the school’s goals.

These spheres are two clashing bodies that manage to disrupt everything and cause discord. Thanks to this division, what would have been your best friend could be walking past you every day in the hallway, without you even giving a second glance. But you don’t even know them. You never even  got the chance.

The solution to this problem is not too difficult or far-fetched.  Just as the system is in so many other countries in the world, American high schools should have different tracks catered to certain proffesions.  This is the system we eventually have in college, so there is no reason to not start it early in high school.

This way, students can take classes that they are interested in and that they can succeed in. This would also remove the stigmas associated with honors
and Regents classes, which make certain students feel inferior to others. Our current education system is clearly flawed in how it treats students unequally. The obvious solution is to adapt a specialized high school system where students can take classes to enter a specific field.