Online classes: easy for some, better for none

By Jeremy Fox

If you are one of the many students pondering your course schedule for next year, then you might be considering enrolling in an online AP class. Don’t. You’ll just end up learning nothing, failing the AP exam, and damaging the school system for others.
As East students continue to push their academic limits, signing up for more and more AP classes in their quest to reach that “magic number” which will guarantee admission into the top-notch colleges of their dreams, increasing amounts of students have started loading up their schedules with online AP classes, which often promise an easier workload. However, the fact that some students use these classes to easily earn good grades is unfair to the students that choose to tough it out with classroom AP courses.
It’s easy to understand the allure of online AP classes. The Internet-based classroom provides students with the ability to easily search for the answers to difficult questions, substantially decreasing the difficulty of “college-level” classes. This means that students can easily earn an A, resulting in a GPA-boosting 6.0. Students can even opt to take an online class as an eighth period, at their house, which allows students to take tests free of teacher regulation.
However, letting students take these easier classes is unfair to the students that choose to enroll in the more difficult classroom APs. While one student spends hours a night studying AP Physics, another blows through his AP Human Geography assignment in less than thirty minutes, and both students wind up with the same GPA. There is evidently a flaw in the policy that allows such a gross injustice to occur.
Unfortunately, online classes also impair the students that take them. Sure, these students may achieve higher grades and test scores, but the point of school is to impart knowledge into the minds of students so they will be successful in their post-high school endeavors. When students take such easy classes, all they learn is the false truth that one can achieve success without any real effort.
Furthermore, by not absorbing the necessary college-level information required by AP curriculums, students set themselves up to fail AP exams. In fact, many students sign up for online AP classes already resigned to the fact that they will most likely not score highly enough to receive college credit, which was actually the original intent of the AP program.
So who is to blame for this problematic system? Many would be quick to accuse the administrative staff of East, claiming that if they know the flaws of online classes, then they should not let students take them. While there may be some truth to this, administrators are not really at fault for the current failure of East’s online system. Online AP classes do allow students to study material not offered at East, and by not restricting these classes, the administration allows students greater freedom as they choose their schedules.
The real culprit is East’s mentality toward AP classes. Sadly, at East, students are encouraged to deprive themselves of sleep and forgo their favorite extra-curricular activities as they try to struggle to continually increase their academic workload. With a daily atmosphere such as East’s, it’s no wonder that students jump at the chance to receive an easy A in an AP class.

Photo courtesy of whillynx.blogspot.com

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