College Chemistry deserves more: OHS should grant class an AP weight

College Chemistry deserves more: OHS should grant class an AP weight

Rachel Scott

At OHS there exist a plethora of Advanced Placement (AP) classes, including biology, physics, human geography, US history, psychology, calculus and many more. But not among the long list of AP classes this year is college chemistry, a challenging class worthy of the AP label and weight, but not receiving it until next school year. Administration, staff, central office and the Weighted Grades Committee should consider switching college chemistry to an AP class at the end of this semester.

Speaking from experience, college chemistry is one of the most challenging classes at OHS. The curriculum is fast-paced and intense. Students walk into class and learn a whole unit in one day. Compared to many other AP classes that receive the 1.0 weight, college chemistry is much more difficult. Furthermore, the class already follows most of the AP curriculum guidelines. Even though next year the class is moving up to an AP class officially, the curriculum will still parallel what is taught this year and will be taught in the same manner, according to teacher Ms. Karen Fritz.

The Weighted Grades Committee has standards in place so that classes wishing to move up on the weighted grades scale must file a request first. However, an exception should be made for this class. Next year, many juniors (who will then be seniors) will have already completed college chemistry, but their peers will have the chance to receive a greater weight for the same course material that juniors in college chemistry currently are studying. In order to keep things fair for next year’s seniors, the weight should be changed now. Only two current seniors took college chemistry last year. It would be easier to change their GPA weight than to change the GPA of all the juniors currently in chemistry next year.

For convenience and fairness, administrators should consider changing this course to a weight that it deserves, especially compared to other classes in the building. Time is ticking before changing this weight becomes complicated due to more seniors taking it next year. Choose now to make a smart decision for the future students of college chemistry.