Two Trimesters of Math and English Suffice! sign now

To the Honorable School Board of SAU 21:

I hereby proclaim that a full year of Math and English is completely unnecessary. Not only will this devastate our economy by placing our valuable teachers in a jobless state, but it will also break the hearts of many of my beloved classmates, peers, acquaintances, and almost everybody else who is attending Winnacunnet High School today. I fully acknowledge that your intention was not to decrease the availability of our electives. However, it is a direct cause to this change that you are making. Our schedules have been specifically written and designed to fit two trimesters of Math and English. With three trimesters of both, it only makes sense that electives will be completely narrowed down! Additionally, with the decrease of students attending the JROTC class as a direct result of the fall of our elective availability, the entire class may no longer exist. JROTC has been a heartening inspiration to encourage our students to be successful leaders, and defenders of our country. Every Wednesday, we see children sacrificing their usual Abercrombie or Hollister clothes for official uniforms that show elements of leadership and patriotism. What statement would our school be making should we lose such a valuable elective?

A possible solution to this problem, brought up by my fellow teachers (whose name I will not say without their explicit authorization) is to add a sixth block to school. This may seem like a good solution at first, but some students (including myself) cannot even find 70 minutes to be an adequate, fulfilling time in order to learn all of the knowledge that I have the desire to learn. In addition, a very large amount of classes, especially Advanced Placement courses, require an exceedingly large amount of time to complete examinations. 10 minutes can make all the difference in such classes. 10 minutes can be an entire letter grade difference; and 10 minutes can significantly decrease the amount of knowledge and preparation students have for the real world. Suppose that it is a total guarantee that NECAP Test Scores will rise again as a result of this change (which is highly unlikely; I'll explain later). Is it worth the cost of falling Advanced Placement Course scores, and the decrease of knowledge we'll be carrying with us to the real world? Which realm will we spend the most of our time with, the real world or school?

The decrease of our NECAP Testing Scores are NOT because of a lack of knowledge. After 8 straight years of being practically the smartest child I've ever known, and 3 years of being an honor student myself (and with this sentence I have no intention of bragging, but I wish to simply express my marvel), I've been absolutely stunned by the intellectual magnitude that my fellow classmates possess. There's no way that we can have students that have double, if not triple my intellectual power, yet cannot even score above a proficient level within the standardized tests. Our SAT scores are far above average; some of the best within the country. I would like to bring up an important point, however. A child is more than a test score. The aptitude of our school cannot be measured by one test; the same mentality that the most prestigious colleges of the United States share. (Hence, that is why the SATs are gradually counting for less and less.) I believe that the drop of NECAP scores have been a result of a lack of EFFORT rather than aptitude.

I hereby propose my own solution. Our community needs to change in mentality. Our intention for the NECAPs must be to try our absolute hardest. How can we convince students to increase their efforts? The biggest reason why lots of students intentionally fail the NECAPs is because "they do not matter". It is my understanding that in an effort to change this, my school has given out raffles to students who participate in the NECAPs. However, this accomplished nothing. A student could have drawn a Pikachu on the open response question and still have gotten an amazing prize while another student who wrote a 6-point, well developed essay would have received nothing. Our community needs to emphasize the importance of NECAPs. What would a student need to be completely motivated to excel in the NECAPs? My first proposition is to add the NECAP score to our college transcripts. Students who want to excel in life will more than likely increase their efforts tenfold if they knew that it would affect whether they would make it to college. Another suggestion I propose to my highly respectable school board is to make a minimum score a prerequisite to getting into certain colleges (through a "regional stamp" similar to New York, or anything else like that).

I conclude my petition as follows: Our students are more than competent in both Math and English, and these subjects can prove to be just as valuable as any of our electives. The change to make a full year of Mathematics and English should NOT be made. It would decrease our academic scores, capabilities, and most of all, decrease our readiness for the real world. Is an improved test score really worth the cost of lifelong knowledge? Furthermore, would a full year of Math and English really increase our students' EFFORT levels on our NECAPs? I take my stand against this change in the name of my fellow students, including but not limited to all who sign my petition. I give my highest regards to the School Board of SAU 21 for taking the time to examine this document.

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Georgina KhanBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
SAU 21 School Board

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