AS English II is one of two English course options offered to sophomores. Although it’s labeled as advanced, it does not have a grade bump like some other AS classes. With a grade bump, a B is considered a 4.0 for weighted GPA and an A is considered a 5.0. Many students are upset that this boost doesn’t apply to AS English II, considering that the amount of work is comparable to other advanced English courses that have a grade bump, including AS English III. 

AS English II teacher Erin Walsh said, “I do think AS English can be comparable to AP English courses, but it’s not the same. AS English II is a pre-AP course, so the workload is preparing students for the amount of work that will be given in an AP course. Therefore, the courses are slowly building up to an AP course.” AS English II teacher Jason Hunt said, “I don’t find the amount of work between the courses comparable either.” He said, “AP English students should expect to write multiple essays every other week, while AS English II students are writing about five essays a semester, so it’s not the same.” 

When asked about whether AS English II deserves a grade bump, Walsh said, “I both disagree and agree that there should be a grade bump for AS English II. If there were to be one it could reward students for all their hard work but it would also create competitiveness and place a lot of pressure on students to focus on their GPA. Overall, I think learning is the point of this course and not so much your grade.” 

However, Hunt supports giving the course a grade bump. He said, “AS English II teachers have brought this up to past administration and the District Office, and the request has been denied each time. My worry is that potential AS English II students will take regular English in lieu of a more challenging experience. There have been many times where I heard AS English II students this year drop to English II for an easier A, with the main complaint being that AS English II doesn’t boost their GPA. This primarily concerns me due to the fact our students are competing for enrollment at the best colleges and universities in the world, and admissions counselors are going to wonder why a student chose not to take the most challenging course available.”

Current AS English II students have a strong opinion about this grade system. 

Sophomore Lainey Egnal said, “I definitely think AS English II deserves a grade bump, ” Egnal states her reasoning behind her strong opinion,  “All of this entails excess work, which we currently are not being credited for. This is extremely unfair. AS classes should certainly have a small GPA boost. Sometimes I do wish I had taken regular English, simply because it would not do much to change my grade and would be far less work-intensive.” 

Sophomore Sofia Basso said, “I think there should be a grade bump because we work really hard, have more in-class essays, and do more literary devices in all assignments.” In terms of how long students spend on homework, most said that they spent up to an hour per night.

Basso said, “I probably spend 45-60 minutes a day on homework because sometimes I like to annotate or make notes in the margins of whatever I’m reading.” Egnal said, “I work on homework about three to four hours a week for AS English II.” Sophomore Maya Rozelle said, “It requires a lot of work and thinking, including reading. I’m usually spending around an hour on homework, but the homework load can change between different units.”

Rozelle said, “The class definitely deserves a grade bump. I think that the class is pretty challenging and a big jump from Multicultural Literature and Voice. There have been times where I found it really hard and spent a lot of time on it in order to understand. “

Sophomore Charlotte Hayhurst said, “I think the class does deserve a grade bump because there are no test corrections and, as far as I’m aware, not much curving on tests or essays. I spend about 30 to 60 minutes doing homework, depending on the assignments, and in terms of studying I usually just take the teacher’s recommendations. AS English II can be compared to an AP course with the amount of work and time that can go into both courses. Even though it can be tough, in my opinion it is definitely worth taking.” 

Regardless, many students still are glad they choose AS English II over English II. 

Hayhurst said, “I am glad I chose AS English II instead of regular English II because I heard there’s a huge gap between them and it’s apparently easy and doesn’t teach much, whereas AS English II has given me much knowledge on many things.”

Interviewed students currently taking AS English II argue that AS English II deserves a grade bump for the amount of work it requires, and the significant amount of time it takes.

Angeleah Fayette is a sophomore at M-A in her first year of journalism. She wants to write about issues she feels passionate about and has opinions on. She enjoys reading, swimming, dancing, and hanging out with friends.

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