dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #929

Emma Comerford emmaco at tpg.com.au
Wed Dec 15 18:42:31 EST 2004

Although maybe I should add that I wasn't good at maths, and maybe this is where extra challenges are 
harder to provide for top students.

Quoting "Dorian E. Gray" <israfel at eircom.net>:

> Jordan said...
> > You can choose whether to take AP's or not so since I am good at history I
> > am
> > in AP Euro. Hist. but I dont like chemistry very much so instead of doing
> > Honors I'm in normal (and can still try to take AP Biology next year). The
> > only
> > thing is that "advanced math" or Honors starts in 7th grade and then from 
> > that
> > point on they are always a year ahead but one of my friends really wants 
> > to
> > take Honors math next year so he is taking two math classes. So people can
> > do it
> > if they really want to....one is good enough for me. Of course getting 
> > into
> > college is so impossible now you have to take a bunch of AP's, and play a
> > sport, and do some arts thing, and start a club, all while having amazing 
> > grades
> > and a good personality. Curing cancer might also help. ugh
> The US education system always seems very weird to me, because it's so very 
> different from the Irish one.  Here, primary schools (age 4 to 11) have 
> mixed-ability classes, but once you start secondary school at age 12, you're
> "streamed".  I can see the argument for not streaming and how kids might 
> feel inferior if they're in a lower stream, but on the other hand, surely in
> a mixed-ability class the bright kids are bored and the slow ones are lost 
> (and still feeling inferior!).
> Then there's the whole college entrance thing.  We have State exams here; 
> everyone in the country, pretty much, sits the same Leaving Certificate 
> exams at the age of 17 or 18 (though you can do Higher or Lower level papers
> depending on your ability; I did Irish, English, French, German and 
> Chemistry at Higher level and Maths and Physics at Lower).  And college 
> places are allocated on the basis of your Leaving Cert results - with 
> certain caveats, like to get into a science course you need to have certain 
> minimum results in science subjects, and art courses require portfolios, and
> so forth.  Colleges here really don't care whether you play sports or run 
> clubs or wow complete strangers with your charm; if you get the grades, 
> you're in.
> How do other countries represented here do it?
> Dorian. 
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