Students spread too thin with mandatory requirements

The process of picking classes for senior year is a stressful ordeal as it stands, deciding what core classes to challenge yourself in, or trying to find out what electives to take, as well as making sure to meet all graduation requirements.

For some students such as myself, there is an added layer of frustration when our state’s requirements, mandate that we take certain courses every year of our high school career even though we already have the standard requirements met. We were encouraged as early as the sixth and seventh grade to start cycles of advanced classes, placing us on an accelerated path, with no safety valve.

While this advanced track of motion has some advantages, such as being able to opt out of a science course both junior and senior year, if a student elected to take the expedited science course, this system is also inherently flawed.

For example, entering one’s 8th-grade year, the student, at the age of thirteen years old is asked to make major decisions regarding their math and science classes. This decision will dictate the events of their academic lives throughout the rest of their educational career. At this point, once a student chooses to take an advanced math class, in most cases algebra 1, as an eighth-grader instead of a ninth grader, little do many of them know that they are signing their souls away to a minimum of five years of strenuous highschool caliber math classes.

It’s somewhat hypocritical to me that while graduation requirements only require four years of math credits, students who elected to jumpstart their educational careers are inadvertently punished with higher requirements.

Most of the time in cases such as my own, the students the requirements are being imposed upon are also involved in many other AP or advanced classes as well, these added requirements continue to spread students too thin, sometimes causing students to perform more poorly in other classes as a result.

I believe it would be in the interests of all students for graduation requirements or the years in which classes must be taken to be reevaluated or at the very least looked into.