The curriculum is not made for everyone


Student Post

Image depicting the monopoly of the College Board: a not-so-nonprofit organization that prospers off of stressing students out and pressuring them with a false sense of necessity and college requirements.

Concepts of Algebra Two: a class I had promised myself I would avoid at all costs.

Nonetheless, to me and the district’s dismay, I am not a higher statistic when it comes to math. But, through all of my best efforts to force myself to be in the ‘regular class,’ it turns out that Concepts is the Michigan mandated curriculum for eleventh grade math education—FHC just pushes students harder.

Youth has taught me to consider FHC ‘gifted’ out of the three schools in the district, yet I have come to wonder whether that is due to the very nature of the area or the divisiveness of class scheduling. 

Taking what is considered to be a ‘lower level’ alternative class such as Concepts brings me embarrassment or shame. There will be many more times where I lie and say that I am in Algebra Two.

Because of the culture created by the push FHC students get from administrators, teachers, and parents, they turn to scrutinize and disrespect other students. This mentality has created a hierarchy—especially through the perception of the wealth of the Forest Hills and Ada area.

Overlooked by those who wouldn’t understand otherwise, there is a group of students at FHC who opt-out of paying for their lunches. There are those that take brown paper bags home containing another meal for later that evening. In the shadow of this system are those who are being suppressed with the ideology that we are a prospering community—behind the pristine printed white paper displaying honor roll names are students who work themselves to the bone to make average grades.

The desensitization to harassing other students based on their individual learning needs creates an even bigger rift as the school has fallen into the hybrid schedule. Now, air of prestige and ego have found their way through the masks—less people means less interactions with those who may understand.

Especially with the unfounded stigma of alternative classes being ‘for the dumb kids,’ it is especially discouraging to fail in a class such as Concepts. But, with the realization that it is in fact a normal curriculum, maybe some students will come to gain more faith in their algebraic abilities.

With the revelation of alternative math classes being that they are, what the state considers, average, one has to wonder how hard FHC students have been pushed and as to where this added level of difficulty began.

We are pushed into AP classes to support our dreams of college—even told that we might not be able to get into school without it. For those who struggle on the daily just to meet average requirements because of outside factors, it is almost unimaginable the toll on their self-confidence and self respect that being in such an overachieving community such as FHC may be.