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Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Honors placement now based on test scores

Ell Macias
Now that second semester has begun, students are able to begin choosing their courses as well as begin to sort through counselor recommendations.

District 204 has changed the course recommendation policy to look at test grades when deciding what classes to assign students for the coming year. Rather than a specific teacher recommendation, your classes are decided based on the scores you’ve earned on certain standardized tests to emphasize equity in the decision-making process.

The Accelerated Placement Act has been implemented by the ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education), making it district-wide and affecting all the high schools under its jurisdiction. The assistant principal for curriculum and instruction, Dr. Harvey goes further into detail about what the new course selection procedure will look like.

“In District 204 high schools, [we] have decided that for ninth graders we are going to be using student’s seventh-grade IAR Math or English score to have [them] accelerate during the ninth-grade course selection process,” Harvey said. “And then for 10th grade, we are using the eighth-grade IAR Math and English. For juniors, we are using ninth-grade PSAT English and math and for seniors, we are using tenth-grade PSAT. ”  

The Act goes into effect next year for the upcoming course selections, though students have contradicting opinions on the fairness behind the new policy. Junior Eashwar Kurmapu believes using standardized testing as a medium to place students in classes is not as effective as it can be. 

“I don’t think test scores accurately reflect a student’s academic level because the PSAT only tests reading and writing and a lot of AP’s are a lot more than that, like social studies,” Kurmapu said. 

Junior Gauri Soni agrees that the policy can be improved when it comes to taking standardized testing into account throughout the course selection procedure. 

“I don’t think it’s the best idea because people who are in blended classes can get moved into AP classes which is quite a jump and it’s a big difference between the classes and their rigor and homework,” Soni said. 

Dr. Harvey assures the public that the reasoning behind the implementation of the Act is to promote equity within the school. An example of how the policy would work is if a seventh-grader were to score highly on the math portion of the IAR, they would have the opportunity to skip straight ahead to Honors Geometry rather than regular in their freshman year. 

It’s also important to note that no students are required to take the classes they’ve been recommended for, as that choice is purely up to the student.

“We encourage students to work their their counselors and teachers and we want to make sure opportunities are offered to students because one test score is a good starting place, but we also know that it is more than just that score. We know our students are very capable and we want our students to advocate for themselves,” Harvey said. 

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Mansi is a senior at Metea Valley and it is her first year on staff as a Copy Editor. She enjoys reading and playing piano. In her free time, you can find her writing up a story in any comfortable space.
This is Ell’s first year of being a part of the Visuals team on the Newspaper staff. They have a passion for capturing candid moments in photography, which is what motivated them to work in their section. Typically, they are painting, sketching, or working on dioramas during their downtime and will never beat the artist stereotype of carrying a sketchbook everywhere they go. Furthermore, they will never turn down the opportunity to talk about goth bands.

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    AsterJan 19, 2024 at 2:12 pm

    that’s my chromebook in the picture