Next year’s seniors will not have the option of taking a World Literature 12A class next year, as the English department is merging the two non-AP lanes of senior English.
The decision was made out of respect for students’ best interests, according to Shirley Tokheim, the English department’s instructional supervisor.
“We thought it was odd that in all of the other years, we had two options: college preparatory and college preparatory accelerated and we noticed that senior year it was college prep, then college prep accelerated and then AP [Advanced Placement],” Tokheim said. “We found from our experience teaching that the more the [English] classes mix, the better for everybody — the better for the students, the better for the teachers.”
Tokheim also said that there is no reason for having two distinct non-AP college preparatory lanes for senior English.
“We didn’t think it [having two separate lanes] made a lot of sense,” Tokheim said. “There didn’t seem to be a rationale for dividing senior year into three parts when all of the other years were divided into two parts.”
Senior Yana Gagloeva is in World Literature with teacher Erin Angell and opposes the merge based on her experience at Paly.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea because last year I was in American Lit A — like [American] Classics [the school’s junior year honors English course] — and I know that the people who were in regular American Lit [the school’s standard junior year college preparatory English course] … didn’t do anything,” Gagloeva said. “They did like 10 vocab words a week. … This semester, I know that World Lit  is hard, but I also have friends who are in World Lit A who are struggling even more. I think that [in] taking those two classes and making them one class, people might struggle.”
Tokheim noted that the English department does not see significant differences between the two merging courses.
“There didn’t seem to be a big difference between the two classes,” she said. “In terms of content, expectations, grading practices, we figured that there was not really any reason that we could see to keep them separate.”