Earlier last year, our wonderful Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill that restricts class size to 25 students per teacher in high schools. Over time, the complaints rolled in and it came into view that less students could take popular electives, as is the case with ceramics here at Steinbrenner. So, being the intelligent man that he is, Scott amended the bill to state that the class size bill is only applicable to “core” classes. The one flaw to this plan was that Advanced Placementclasses are no longer considered “core” classes. Alas, we now see AP classes with upwards to 40 students.
To exacerbate this situation, classes with limited teachers get even more stuents. At this school, for example, AP United States History (APUSH) is not technically a core class, but it is the more challenging version of American History, a “core” class. It satisfies the credit, provides a nice GPA boost and potentially awards college credit. Naturally, we see plenty of juniors heading towards APUSH.
However, since the other APUSH teacher left to work for Florida Virtual School, only one APUSH teacher, Jennifer Ordetx, remains. To complicate the situation further, there are only two APUSH class periods, one with 38 and the other with 34 students. Not only does this make the class uncomfortably toasty, but it impersonalizes the learning experience. Quality learning comes from getting one-on-one attention and the class having a sense of togetherness. For teachers, it is even worse.
“It’s very difficult to understand student needs and provide lessons beyond lecture, ” said Ordetx.
Either our governor doesn’t know what an AP class is or he is just daft because this is quite a pressing issue. I haven’t a doubt in my mind that we will see a drop in test scores this year and hopefully that will be enough to get Scott’s attention.
Kiran Shila / Web Editor