THS adopts heterogeneous grouping for sophomore english classes starting next year


By Allie Chino, Online Editor

After the freshmen class of 2016 showed success in heterogeneous grouping in english classes, the Tigard Tualatin School Board unanimously decided to carry the same method to sophomore english classes at THS starting in the 2013-14 school year. While several staff members as well as underclassmen stand in favor of the change, many IB upperclassmen are against the new standard.

According to Findley Merritt of The Oregonian, advocates of heterogeneous grouping say that the new method helps to close the achievement gap by raising the bar for all students who haven’t been pushed academically before.

“We’ve had students performing at a higher rate both from the top down and bottom up,” said Tigard High Associate Principal Mickey Toft. “This is a natural progression for our program.”

According to freshman Rachel Haning, the students in her english class are more influenced by people who are serious about learning than people who tend to slack off. Haning admits that the positive attitudes toward learning are contagious.

However, IB senior Brian Josephson is disappointed in the new method. He has noticed that his sister, freshman Rachel Josephson, has less work to do than he did as an advanced freshman. Because of this, Josephson thinks students who plan to pursue IB will seriously struggle.

“The problem is, with standard level classes, that there are some students who will take advantage of the opportunity to be challenged,” said Josephson. “But then there’s also a lot more who either don’t care or don’t try who will pull down everyone else.”

Although students disagree on whether or not the new method will be successful, THS teachers plan on preparing all students for the possibility of going into the IB program. Freshmen english teacher Nancy Mayer shared that all of her students got a C grade or higher on their most recent test, which hasn’t happened in years passed with separated english levels.

Tualatin high school has yet to accept the new method.