This group has been commenting on an article written about our old high school: The new Thomas Jefferson? It includes remedial math.
Many of us were humanities kids who happened to be good at math and science, and we quickly re-shifted our focus in college. The required advanced math and AP courses I groaned about in high school allowed me to not have take a single one in college…that didn’t look too great when I was applying to post-bac programs. However, never once during the process were my science and math skills questioned, “Oh! You went to TJ? You can definitely handle premed.” Mildly ridiculous, and a poor assumption. And then there was the time I was told by a physician in Boston that my TJ diploma would be more helpful than my UVA diplomas in getting me into a good med school.
So, I have mixed feelings on the opportunities (real or imagined) that TJ has provided for me. Nevertheless, as has been mentioned by several others of the y’s and hmc, attending this high school was one of the best decisions of my life. There was significant personal sadness during my high school life, but I still believe that mine was a happier, more fulfilling high school experience than that of many of my colleagues. Beyond the academic rigor that was fostered more by the students than the faculty, I’m one of the few people I know that still has 20+ close friends from high school, let alone still goes to the beach with them for a week every summer. (Less than a month until Beach Week XI!)
I don’t really have specifics from the article on which I’d like to comment (this is not meant to be a persuasive editorial, just a splatter of unorganized thoughts), but I’m not sure this kind of change is one for the better. The best part of TJ, in my mind, was the community of eager students with varied strengths but similar aptitudes it brought together. Am I being closed-minded by not seeing the benefit of a fracture in the foundation of that community?