Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian should add more AP courses ASAP

Meridian currently offers some AP courses (Graphic by Sesh Sudarshan).

Meridian offers three main types of classes: standard, honors, and IB (International Baccalaureate). For students wishing to take challenging courses, IB is the way to go. After all, Meridian High School is an IB school. 

However, there is a fourth category of vigorous classes: Advanced Placement (AP). Unfortunately, only five AP classes are offered at Meridian: AP Spanish, AP United States Government, AP Calculus BC, AP Computer Science Principles, and AP Computer Science A. 

At Meridian, AP classes are used as steps in a pathway instead of challenging courses in their own right. For example, AP Spanish 4 is offered as a prerequisite of IB Spanish, AP Computer science A is a prerequisite for IB computer science, AP Government is offered before IB History of the Americas, and AP Calculus is offered before IB Math Analysis and Approaches II. 

While these courses are uncommon at Meridian, they are dominant at the national level. While IB courses are offered by only 938 schools, 23,000 high schools offer AP courses. Meridian is one of the few schools that offers both AP and IB courses, and it should try to complete this accomplishment by offering as many AP courses as IB. 

Both AP and IB courses have their distinct benefits. AP provides a full and extensive overview of a subject and IB goes more in depth. AP provides college credit at most colleges and is widely spread in the United States, whereas IB offers a rigorous curriculum (and is accepted for college credit at only some US schools) that is used worldwide. 

Given that AP and IB courses are so different, it would be a better idea to allow students to choose the system that works best for them.  Both IB and AP are distinct, and having a full pathway for each would be preferable. 

For example, while students can take IB Chemistry, AP Chemistry is not available. Similarly, Meridian offers regular U.S. History to fulfill V.A. education standards and IB History of the Americas as a part of the two year Honors Level (HL) course, but not AP U.S. History.  

Rather than having either an IB or an AP class for every type of subject, Meridian should offer both AP and IB options for each subject. This would allow students to have continuity between classes rather than switching between IB and AP every year. 

Moreover, students would be able to choose the pathway that works best for them. Just as 8th graders have the option to choose between “Humanities” and “Language and Literature,” high schoolers should have the ability to choose between AP and IB. 

Additionally, having a greater variety of classes may also encourage students who don’t wish to take IB to choose AP versus taking a standard-level class and result in more students taking difficult courses. 

One of the main things preventing the city from offering more courses is that this would naturally result in the school system having to hire more teachers and spend more money. On closer examination however, this may not be entirely a bad thing. The Falls Church City, as of 2023, has a five million dollar surplus. The city could use this money to hire more teachers, which would not only enable it to offer more courses, but would also reduce class sizes. Finally, this would provide extra employment opportunities which may drive teachers to move to the Little City. 

In all, having more AP courses would be highly beneficial to this school because it would allow for a more diverse variety of courses to choose from, thereby increasing interest in coursework.

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About the Contributor
Sesh Sudarshan
Sesh Sudarshan, Staff Writer
Sesh is a freshman who enjoys reading, watching TV, and playing soccer. This is his first year writing for The Lasso.