OPINION: SCHS lacks a diverse selection of AP classes


Sarah Olson

AP Environmental Science is one of the many AP courses not offered at SCHS.

Santa Clara City Council member Sudhanshu Jain has pushed to establish an AP Environmental Science class at SCHS. For years, the district has pushed back with strict opposition.

“The administration told me, ‘Well, nobody’s asking for this,’” Jain said. “When I was a student in high school, I didn’t have the wherewithal to go ask for a new class to be taught, I would just see what’s offered and pick from there, and I think that was a total cop-out by the administration.”

It isn’t just AP Environmental Science. The lack of AP classes within SCHS is ever-so-present. Adding more AP classes is a huge money saver for students. According to the College Board, passing AP exams allow students to save their cash and time by graduating college early. For other students, AP classes can lessen their college course load, limiting the price of tuition.

The lack of diverse subjects in SCHS’s AP courses presents a large problem. Of the 36 AP courses mentioned on the College Board’s website, SCHS offers 18. There is a large deficit, for example, in AP Art programs as SCHS only offers AP Studio Art. The programs described on the College Board’s website delve into the history behind art and the processes behind design. Both of these are helpful skills for future art majors. Other AP programs like AP Environmental Science are necessary to equip America’s youth with knowledge of the climate.

“There are going to be so many jobs to handle climate change,” Jain said. “And they’re (SCUSD) just not teaching kids about what the future is going to look like, an all-electric future with carbon-free electricity.”

Educational shortcomings are present in other subjects as well, especially in the cultural microcosm. With dozens of flags brandishing the hallways of SCHS, the school only teaches a measly three languages. To accommodate for the abundance of cultural identities, SCHS should offer students more AP language courses.

The movement for more AP courses is one that can be strengthened through the student population. By creating petitions and asking for certain courses such as AP Environmental Science to be taught, students can bring new courses to SCHS.

“If the administration is saying they’re not teaching these classes because students aren’t asking for them, either do petitions, or just start showing up at school board meetings,” Jain said.

While the cost of funding AP courses, the space constraints and logistics may prove difficult, more AP courses are a necessity. By providing educational opportunities and a deeper understanding of subjects, schools better equip students to face the collegiate world.