No Math or English? Bronx Students Fight for Basic Classes
Students attending the Bronx High School for Medical Science aren't complaining about their course load. Instead, they are making a case for more English and math.
While junior honors students at the school are able to take these classes and graduate early, non-honors juniors will have to wait a semester or two and make up the classes later.
A shortage of teachers is causing the delay.
Junior Eddie Duarte and a few of his classmates are voicing their concerns. Duarte said, according to DNAinfo, “Our SATs are coming up. I don’t understand how we’re supposed to be ready for those without math or English.”
Another student, Kavoy Mayne, said, “I feel like this school is just setting you up for a two-year college.”
According to The Huffington Post, "school officials insist that students who are not taking regular semester English and math courses will be allowed opportunities to meet graduation requirements."
At the Bronx school, students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams. Ninety-nine percent of the students are minorities and according to U.S. News and World Report, students at the school are ranked slightly higher than other students in the district in math and English.
Despite the ranking, students feel they have a greater chance of falling behind without these courses.
Megan Hester, the collaborative coordinator at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, said, “It speaks to how budget constrains can limit a school’s ability to prepare kids for college. Schools should be concerned about getting students to that level, not just getting them sufficient credits.”
With a fiscal cliff pending, budget cuts will further affect students in New York City and the rest of the country.
If Washington doesn’t pass a federal budget by January, about $4.8 billion will automatically be reduced in education spending.
The NEA estimates that sequestration (across-the-board cuts) could affect more than nine million students and cut 78,400 education jobs in its first year.
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Jenny is the Education Editor at TakePart. She has been writing for TakePart since 2009 and previously worked in film and television development. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles. Email Jenny | @jennyinglee | TakePart.com