Analyzing Problems in Schools and School Systems: A Theoretical Approach

By Alan Kibbe Gaynor | Go to book overview

14
Analysis of an Organizational Decision: The Placement Process for the Honors Track at Brandywine Regional High School*

Alan Bernstein


DESCRIPTION OF THE DECISION

The Decision and Its Context

At Brandywine Regional High School (BRHS) there are three academic tracks: honors, college preparatory, and junior college/technical. The following analysis will look at the decisional process undertaken by students who seek to enter the honors track. For the purposes of brevity, only the honors track is examined in this chapter.

Within the honors track, there are advanced placement courses and those labeled "honors." The differences between the two are profound, even though both are considered honors track courses. Advanced placement courses (AP) are highly structured and geared toward preparation for the national AP subject tests, which (if successfully completed) may earn the student college credits. The curriculum for the AP courses is highly prescribed and content rich as it must be to prepare students for the AP exams. The honors courses are more proprietary in nature, meaning that each instructor has more latitude in determining the complexity level of the course being offered. The honors courses are not geared for any national exam, and successful completion does not gain a student equivalent college credit.

____________________
*
This chapter was originally submitted as a term paper for a class in Organizational Analysis, Department of Administration, Training and Policy Studies, School of Education, Boston University, Spring 1990. Names have been altered to protect the identities of the school and key participants.

-223-

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