Heterogeneous Grouping Informational Meeting

| January 10, 2012 | 1 Comment

There will be a public information session on the new “Honors for All” focus at Annapolis High School. Wednesday, January 11, 2012 6:30-8pm, the event is hosted by Annapolis Education Commission.

“Heterogeneous Grouping”, “de-tracking”, “Honors for All”. However it is labeled, the concept is being discussed in education policing-making and academic circles across the country — and around dinner tables here in Anne Arundel County. The stated goal is to eliminate the academic disparity between different ethnic and socio-economic groups, known as the “Achievement Gap”. The leadership at Annapolis High School and AACPS believes that this is best accomplished by mixing students of all levels together in Honors level classes. The expectation is that providing an advanced curriculum will inspire all students to do their best work.

When the plan to eliminate “Standard” classes in 9th grade at Annapolis High School was first introduced last spring, parents were extremely concerned. The issues raised included teacher capacity, support for struggling students, impact on advanced students, discipline, curriculum, grading and evaluation. Annapolis High School has a very diverse student population, a high poverty level, and the largest number of English Language Learners in Anne Arundel County. How would this concept work at Annapolis High School?

The Annapolis Education Commission, a group of parents and other stake-holders representing the City of Annapolis in advocating for Annapolis cluster schools, responded to the concern by studying the issue in a working committee this past summer (2011). The report that followed advocated a “go slow” approach and requested that key aspects of classroom management, discipline, specific teacher training and independent oversight be in place before the program is introduced. (the attached report is available as a PDF upon request)

With the program going ahead at Annapolis High School next year, in 9th grade Science and Social Studies, the Annapolis Education Commission has asked AHS Administrators and AACPS leadership to present their vision to the public and answer questions provided by parents and members of the community. This is an important opportunity to hear the details of how “Honors for All” will work on a day-to-day basis for all students at Annapolis High School.

Source: Annapolis Education Commission

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