New history curriculums for underclassmen: too much stress?

Social studies are becoming more and more stressed. They stay up late doing work on a consistent basis.

Social studies are becoming more and more stressed. They stay up late doing work on a consistent basis.

Moving into the new school year, New Berlin middle school and freshmen students will see a change in social studies classes offered.

Ike and West teachers have worked together to create a new curriculum for the students after a long desired change. Now, theeighth graders will be covering what is currently considered a freshman class, US history 1. As a freshman, then, a student would have the option of taking either AP geography or 20thCentury history.

When asked about the change, teacher Adam Bell said that the new set up would be “more rigorous” in terms of the level ofclass work.

How are the students feeling about the change? Most high school students are against the change. The majority of students believe that AP courses are too hard for incoming freshman.

Sophmore Sophia Pezze, against the change, says, “AP courses are hard enough. Add that to the stress of entering high school,and it can be overwhelming.”

As a high school student, the entering freshman face a new world of rigor. Most are just getting used to the realization that grades now matter and will be on a transcript for colleges to see. Furthermore, freshman athletes are just beginning to get involved in high school sports and enduring the commitment for the first time. As a freshman, an AP course added to the mix is too much.

In addition, the way that the AP world works is competitive. It doesn’t acknowledge what grade a student is in, just how well they perform. Also, the grade they receive is a reflection of the results of every student in the country, not a standardized test ranking. Therefore, a freshman would be competing against seniors for the top rank.

Overall, the curriculum change boils down to a deeper meaning: are students being pushed too hard? Throughout our high school career, we are told to study every night. We are told to put school before anything else, including sports, family events, andanything in between. As a middle and high school student, we are still young. Should we not be given the chance to enjoy our youth? As the years have gone by, we have been pushed and pushed to perform at our very best at all times. Most of our parents did not even receive the option to take AP courses. Now, freshmen are taking college courses. Although it is true that AP courses are important and very helpful financially, a student still deserves a few years of limited stress.

Adults keep pushing and pushing us to study more, but eventually we run out of time to study as much as we should. Most students are pushing a bed time past midnight in an effort to stay ahead of their studies. Sabrina Franco, currently enrolled in AP United States History, has felt this first hand.

“First semester, I would stay up until 1 a.m. because I was so worried. Then, I would have to wake up early to catch the bus, then run on coffee all day.” She says. “It finally caught up to me. Now I’m tired from the moment I get home.”

Think to yourself, is this the condition we want our students to be living in?