Advanced Placement offerings should expand

Breadth of rigorous courses essential post high school

More stories from Erik Brown

It is an unfortunate reality that Newton High School does not always have a positive reputation circulating around the mentioning of its name. A glimmer of light, however, shined down when NHS became the only school in Kansas to be placed on the Advanced Placement (AP) National Honor Roll for consecutive years. In an Newton Now article interview, Principal Lisa Moore stated that this award “is phenomenal and speaks volumes for us academically,” and while one cannot dispute this claim at face value, it is also seemingly apparent that we are still lacking as a coherent whole in terms of preparation and course availability.

In a world in which college admissions and career opportunities are becoming ever-more competitive, a distinct variety of classes, and a qualified educator pool, is vital at the secondary-education level. Currently, NHS offers six AP classes, only a fraction of the thirty-eight acknowledged by the College Board, including European History, Studio Art Drawing, Japanese Language and Culture, and many more. If the school is truly making a concerted effort to better prepare us for life beyond high school, then the focus should be shifted from attempting to make students take these six classes, to offering more. Adding breadth over depth in courses before a college or career setting is vital to truly helping us decide what we would like to pursue, a necessary improvement to ensure post-graduate success.

While the accomplishments by our school are nothing short of celebration-worthy, it’s important to understand that giant strides of progress can still be made. Every student at NHS deserves the opportunity to excel once we receive our diploma, and this progress needs to continue in order for that to occur.