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Bye bye, sci fi: college rule forces CVHS to cut electives

Next year CVHS will remove three English electives to make room for the new “Expository Reading and Writing” (ERWC) college prep class.

These three English classes are Science Fiction, British Literature and World Readings, all of which were chosen to be cut based on student course requests, class sizes and availability.

“Personally I don’t like having to give up other electives for this new class,”
said Peter Brewer, the only Science Fiction teacher.

This new class was created by the state to help students who did not pass the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) test during junior year. CSU’s new policy now requires students to either have passed the EAP no later than May before they start college, or to have taken a remedial summer English course after their senior year.

However, retaking the test and attending the summer course both cost money.

“Our goal in bringing the ERWC class to CVHS is to provide our students who have not passed the EAP a cost-free option in response to CSU’s new policy and to continue to align our curriculum with the demands of college level literacy,” explained Assistant Principal Erica Ehmann.

The EWRC class is designed to prepare seniors to pass the EAP when they take it a second time and to help students be more successful in the CSU summer program. For the 2013-2014 school year, CSU is considering allowing seniors to take and pass the ERWC with a B or better in lieu of retaking the EAP test or attending the CSU summer course.

Not only is the English department sad to see these three classes go, but students both from past and present enrollments have been outraged to hear the news of the loss of Science Fiction.

“It was a very very difficult decision for the department; it’s not like we wanted to
get rid of Science Fiction,” said Robin Munsell, the English department chair.

This new class will focus on reading, writing and discussions on interesting issues ranging from the politics of food to juvenile justice.

“It’s not a bad idea to have a class tailored for expository writing,” Brewer said.

Staff members do not know how long the new class will last at CVHS and when the other electives may return.

“We are really at the mercy of the CSUs because we want our students to have access to college,” Munsell said. “We aren’t sure how many sections we will fill and how many we will need in future years and that is what will determine how many other sections of courses we offer.”