By Ben Wolf
Monday, December 11, 2006
Leon High School Assistant Principal Billy Epting's stress level is on the rise. That's because next year incoming freshman must select a major.
"One year we may have a large percentage of students that want to major in mathematics so we'd have to hire additional teachers to cover these course offerings and then the next year the kids change their minds.”
Epting says that would leave teachers without jobs.
Other problems include the need for more guidance counselors to oversee the program and also what Epting calls the enforcement factor.
"Let's say he doesn't pass his senior music class but he's got everything else to graduate. Does he not receive a high school diploma? Where's the enforcement go?"
If you think administrators and counselors are the only people seeing problems with the program, think again.
"I'm the editor and chief of the newspaper and I really like that but I love being in student government too. I don't know I guess journalism maybe; see I don't think you should be forced to pick something," says Leon High Junior Eden Joyner.
Despite the issues at hand, administrators say getting kids focused on something is the right idea. Some youngsters agree.
"I think the major-minor is a great idea. It gives freshman the opportunity to find out if he likes that subject," says Leon High Junior George Mannheimer.
Ready are not, high school students will make tough choices at a young age. The board of education has approved 440 majors for students next year. This legislation was part of Governor Bush's A++ program designed to increase rigor and relevance in the classroom.