If you’ve checked your SchoolLoop news recently, you know that Western Civilization is ending. Next year, sophomores will have only two choices: Modern European History and Advanced Placement (AP) European History. Principal Simone Kennel and Social Studies Department Chair Alan Perry state in the SchoolLoop message that they have a “firm belief” that the change will “better serve our 10th grade students.”
The change comes in the wake of the California State Board of Education’s 2008 decision to require a full year of European history. Before the change, Modern Euro was a one-semester mandatory class, with World Studies as a full-year elective for people who wanted to take more history. After the change, Modern Euro lasted a full year, and M-A was left with two redundant courses. Over the past year, Modern Euro and Western Civ teachers have been working together to make the classes as similar as possible.
But why not make Western Civ an AS class? Perry said that there are “no other AS history classes.” He wanted to maintain the same structure throughout sophomore and junior year, where there are only two tracks for history. There will only be regular and AP history options both years, and students won’t have to transition from a three-track to a two-track class system.Perry shared that he hoped people would see the change for what it is. He believes that there will be nothing of extreme value lost, and the added diversity in the new Modern Euro class will be worth it. Because of the work that the history department has been doing over the past seven years since the change, the two classes are already quite similar. They teach from the same textbook, at the same pace, and cover the same standards. At this point, Perry decided that there was no reason to have two classes, so M-A will be merging them. All the things that set Western Civ apart from Modern Euro will be moved to the new class. There will be art notebooks, and they will still play Diplomacy.