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Honors Geometry Canceled for 2020-2021

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

“Why is this a problem?”, “who does this really affect?”, “why was this a poor decision?” These are probably all questions you have running through your mind reading this header. Honors Geometry is one of many high school classes offered in the United States and probably all around the world. However, Honors Geometry is not the only form of Geometry- another class that is given is normal Geometry, but the difference is like an AP (Advanced Placement) class. In Honors Geometry, like an AP class you get a grade bump. This is important because instead of 4.0 being the highest grade point average achievable, now the highest is 5.0 gpa. Another important benefit of Honors geometry is college credit. Colleges and Universities look for a student who has taken the more advanced class options (Honors, AP, or IB) over a student who chose to just take normal classes .They would rather you challenge yourself by taking higher level classes and get a B than an A+ in the regular class.

One thing you may be wondering is what is the difference between normal and Honors/AP in class? For example, in Honors Geometry you go at a faster pace and do more advanced problems but have the same curriculum as normal Geometry. However to take either honors or normal Geometry, you have to have taken a full year of Algebra 1. Due to a new policy, many middle schools offer that class for 8th graders but sometimes 7th graders so they can be a little ahead in high school math. Algebra 1 is commonly a freshman year course however that is not the only math course offered. Before entering high school at TUHSD school, (Tam, Redwood, Drake, Tamiscal, San Andreas) all 8th graders must take the ELMA which is a math placement test to determine which class you will take freshman year of high school. The ELMA is for testing into Foundations (basically 8th grade math again), Algebra 1, and Geometry. To take Honors Geometry or Advanced Algebra (Algebra 2, which is the highest class a freshman could take but must have completed a year of Geometry in 8th grade) is a completely separate test where you have to sign up to take and go to the school on a specific date and time.

Unfortunately due to our certain circumstances all standardized testing in California has been canceled, including the ELMA, Honors Geometry test, Advanced Algebra test and Honors Advanced Algebra test. The TUHSD schools decided it was best to get rid of the Honors Geometry class year of 2020-2021. However, this was the only class they got rid of. So if you took Algebra 1, you would automatically be going into normal Geometry-if you passed 8th grade math you would go into Algebra 1. However with Honors Advanced Algebra and regular Advanced Algebra, the schools are going off of teacher recommendations. What confuses me is why they couldn't just go off of recommendations or had a test in the fall for Honors Geometry as well. The only class they canceled was the Honors Geometry class which doesn’t make much sense to me.

Having any Honors or AP class on your transcript is very appealing to colleges. Starting off high school in an Honors math class makes it a lot easier to take more honors classes throughout the years of high school. Honors and AP math teachers commonly just teach Honors and AP classes, so having a class with a teacher that teaches other Honors and AP classes can benefit your chance in taking another Honors or AP class. Another aspect to advanced math curriculum is that you learn at a faster pace in Honors and AP and do more complex problems making it way to take another Honors orAP class. Due to the recent change it is going to be fairly challenging for students who want to take Honors Advanced Algebra year 2021-2022.

Colleges take into consideration if a student took either u tHonors or normal classes.These colleges and universities are not going to be aware that these five specific schools in California did not offer that class that exact year of 2020-2021. By cutting these courses, I think this took away vital opportunities for kids who really wanted to excel and focus on math in high school and go to a good college. Of course this is not the main decision that will determine whether you go to Harvard or not, but as I said before not starting in an Honors class Freshman year will definitely make it more challenging to go to an Honors or AP class in the next years of high school. Colleges like to see you take Honors and AP and would much rather you get a B in an AP or Honors class then an A+ in the regular because they want to see you challenge yourself and not just take the easy way out. I think that there were definitely better ways to handle this situation but the TUHSD district just took the easy way out. If we had just gone off of teacher recommendations and or took a test in the fall that would just be easier and better for everyone.

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