Tough test for Lowell High's Latin Lyceum

Full story: Lowell Sun 65
Are honors courses in the Latin Lyceum more rigorous than mainstream honors courses? It depends who you ask. Full Story
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Truth squad

Lowell, MA

#1 Apr 14, 2010
According to data provided by the school department regarding attrition in the Latin Lyceum:

The greatest losses occur from Freshman Year to Sophomore Year, with a range of 6% to 40%, average of 22%. This loss was significant in the class of 2007 (22%), class of 2011 (40%) and class of 2012 (26%).

Loss from the sophomore year to junior year ranges from 6% to 24%, with an average of 14%, with the greatest loss occurring in the class of 2010. The class of 2010 had the smallest loss from Freshman to Sophomore year (3 students), but 12 left after their sophomore year

Let's stick to the truth.
Lowellelian

Tewksbury, MA

#2 Apr 14, 2010
And what's wrong with different expectations? As a "higher-up" at a private company, my boss has different expectations for me as opposed to the people I oversee. Sure there are some expectations that are the same: show up every day, work hard, don't take excessive lunch breaks. But when we get to the details my expectations are different.
parent

Lowell, MA

#3 Apr 14, 2010
There is nothing wrong with higher expectations. The problem is those students who are expected to do higher work, are not getting fairly compensated for it. They are getting the same weighting as those who choose not to do the higher work.
Another parent

Stoneham, MA

#4 Apr 14, 2010
parent wrote:
There is nothing wrong with higher expectations. The problem is those students who are expected to do higher work, are not getting fairly compensated for it. They are getting the same weighting as those who choose not to do the higher work.
I respectfully disagree. Just because a student chooses not to enter the Lyceum does not mean he or she is not working just as hard. I personally know a number of students who could have been accepted to the Lyceum but chose not too. Instead they take honors or A/P classes. They do extremely well and it's not because they're doing less work or working less hard. Clearly if half the Carney medal winners are coming from the "general population" of students, there are non-Lyceum kids working just as hard.

The Lyceum parents don't want to hear this but there is a strong element of "elitism" going on in the Lyceum. Many Lyceum students and certainly many of their parents think they are better than the rest of the students. I know this from personal experience, not gossip.

I remember when my daughter was a freshman, she told me a story about going to a school rally of some kind. After all the students were seated, the Lyceum kids marched into the auditorium in one group. They didn't sit with their respective grades but instead sat together in a separate area. My daughter said it was like they were invited guests, not part of the school. She knows a few students who left the Lyceum because they felt isolated from the rest of the school. I think the people in the Lyceum, teachers, parents and students need to get over themselves and stop worrying about what other people are doing. They will all be accepted to college which is the goal of the Lyceum after all. I think that's getting lost in the whining about weighted courses.
LHS Parent

Mullica Hill, NJ

#5 Apr 14, 2010
As a parent I understand that Ms Doherty and Ms Laraba who have a child in or about to enter the Lyceum would want the best for their child, however as a taxpayer and a parent of a LHS student I think they should excuse themselves from any vote regarding the Lyceum.(along with any other committee member who has a conflict of interest)
Lets remember they were elected to represent the best interest of all the students of the city not just a select few , including their own best interest.
Another parent

Stoneham, MA

#6 Apr 14, 2010
LHS Parent wrote:
As a parent I understand that Ms Doherty and Ms Laraba who have a child in or about to enter the Lyceum would want the best for their child, however as a taxpayer and a parent of a LHS student I think they should excuse themselves from any vote regarding the Lyceum.(along with any other committee member who has a conflict of interest)
Lets remember they were elected to represent the best interest of all the students of the city not just a select few , including their own best interest.
Well said!
miss informed

Lowell, MA

#7 Apr 14, 2010
parent wrote:
There is nothing wrong with higher expectations. The problem is those students who are expected to do higher work, are not getting fairly compensated for it. They are getting the same weighting as those who choose not to do the higher work.
Sorry to say, but you're woefully mistaken here. Every course is weighted differently when calculated into a students GPA. A college level English class does not have as much value as an AP course. More importantly, when admissions counselors make their decisions, they see more value in honors/AP courses than they do college level.

There are a lot of problems with LHS' Lyceum. First, it costs more money to operate, so it's technically seperate but equal. It's a school within a school, with special consideration and treatment "expected" by both the teachers and students. The parents demand much more of the school than they're entitled to, simply because their children test well. It's an extremely classist system that needs reconsideration.
parent

Lowell, MA

#8 Apr 14, 2010
Jackie Doherty has a child who is NOT in the Lyceum. Should she be excluded from voting for things NOT in the Lyceum?
parent

Lowell, MA

#9 Apr 14, 2010
The discrepencies in the Lyceum occur primarily in the freshman and sophmore years. Ms. Laraba's son is finishing his sophmore year and so will not benefit from any changes. Is it so difficult to believe that when people personally experience injustice that it makes them want to change the system even if not for personal benefit? Both of these women have spent years of their lives prior to being on the school committee working for the good of all the children in the schools who need someone to stand up for them. Shame on you for trying to smear their reputations. No wonder it is so difficult to find good people willing to run for the school committee. I guarantee they will fight for your child too if your child is being treated unfairly in the schools. Just ask them and you will see.
lowell dude

Lowell, MA

#10 Apr 14, 2010
Definitely agree with "Another parent". Why is everyone spending all their time whining and worrying about the top 5% of LHS students, students who would excel whether there was a Lyceum or not? Why don't we worry more about the other 95% of students, especially those in the middle who struggle to get C's? Nobody is advocating for them.
Regina

Lowell, MA

#11 Apr 14, 2010
I think they should have a fist fight and put it up on youtube! People just don't understand how hard I worked and how much I cared.
wow

Lowell, MA

#12 Apr 14, 2010
lowell dude wrote:
Definitely agree with "Another parent". Why is everyone spending all their time whining and worrying about the top 5% of LHS students, students who would excel whether there was a Lyceum or not? Why don't we worry more about the other 95% of students, especially those in the middle who struggle to get C's? Nobody is advocating for them.
Exactly!! Well said.
parent

Lowell, MA

#13 Apr 14, 2010
miss informed wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry to say, but you're woefully mistaken here. Every course is weighted differently when calculated into a students GPA. A college level English class does not have as much value as an AP course. More importantly, when admissions counselors make their decisions, they see more value in honors/AP courses than they do college level.
There are a lot of problems with LHS' Lyceum. First, it costs more money to operate, so it's technically seperate but equal. It's a school within a school, with special consideration and treatment "expected" by both the teachers and students. The parents demand much more of the school than they're entitled to, simply because their children test well. It's an extremely classist system that needs reconsideration.
Yes, classes are weighted differently. College level does not have the same weight as honors which does not have the same weight as AP. My point was that courses of the same level (example Honors) are run differently in and out of Lyceum, and those in Lyceum are expected to do more.

There are students who work hard that are not in Lyceum. I know that for a fact. I was never saying students don't work hard. I just think the expectations of work in the Lyceum are harder for the same credit.
LL parent

Lowell, MA

#14 Apr 14, 2010
lowell dude - a lot of freshmen and sophmores in the lyceum ARE struggling to get C's.
miss informed

Lowell, MA

#15 Apr 14, 2010
parent wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, classes are weighted differently. College level does not have the same weight as honors which does not have the same weight as AP. My point was that courses of the same level (example Honors) are run differently in and out of Lyceum, and those in Lyceum are expected to do more.
There are students who work hard that are not in Lyceum. I know that for a fact. I was never saying students don't work hard. I just think the expectations of work in the Lyceum are harder for the same credit.
And wohat would you suggest the school do about this? Throw down rose pedals for them? They already get a special diploma that the school has to go out and get printed especially for them. It's as if they're royalty. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.

I think the Lyceum is an absurd program of entitlement so the uppidy parents in Belvidere can feel special. i know it has changed slightly, but a report came out a couple years ago about how white the Lyceum was. Probably still is.
LHS Parent

Mullica Hill, NJ

#16 Apr 14, 2010
parent wrote:
Jackie Doherty has a child who is NOT in the Lyceum. Should she be excluded from voting for things NOT in the Lyceum?
My bad . I thought I read in the Sun that she has a child entering the Lyceum next year.
You on the other hand obvioulsy have a child in it now.
If you don't like the heat get out of the kitchen.
Take your child out of the Lyceum if you think he /she is being treated unfairly....real simple.....
lhs mom

Boston, MA

#17 Apr 14, 2010
miss informed wrote:
<quoted text>
And wohat would you suggest the school do about this? Throw down rose pedals for them? They already get a special diploma that the school has to go out and get printed especially for them. It's as if they're royalty. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.
I think the Lyceum is an absurd program of entitlement so the uppidy parents in Belvidere can feel special. i know it has changed slightly, but a report came out a couple years ago about how white the Lyceum was. Probably still is.
Wow, you cerainly are "miss informed". Most Lyceum parents are not from Belvidere.
What would you think if a parent said "I think 'college' level classes are an absurd program of laziness for parents in the Acre"?
Generalizations cut both ways....

We ALL want our kids in the higest level of class that they can handle....that is, and should be, the mission of high school.
If a student is in a class with different requirements, different expections, and a different grading system, how can you say those classes are equal?
I have two children in the Lyceum and 1 in the regular Honors program. I have seen first-hand how very diferent the classes are and I know which ones have the same "weight".
Lyceum students have much more rigorous classes their first two years. Plain and simple.
How would you feel if your child were in regular Honors classes, doing a specified amount of work. And then you found out that the students in 'college' level courses were getting the same credit on their transcripts for their work, when the work load was much lighter? So a child in "College Algebra 1" got an A and so did your child with "Honors Algebra 1". They then have the same GPA, and the same class rank even though one does much more work?

For some parents, GPA and class rank don't matter. For parents whose children are trying to go to the highest level of college, it matters.
Every year in Lowell, we have students accepted to the highest level colleges. Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, MIT. Class rank and GPA matter a lot.
Not just to Lyceum students.
Pete Farrell

Boston, MA

#18 Apr 14, 2010
LL parent wrote:
lowell dude - a lot of freshmen and sophmores in the lyceum ARE struggling to get C's.
C's get degrees dummy.
truth seeker

Arlington, MA

#19 Apr 14, 2010
lhs mom wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow, you cerainly are "miss informed". Most Lyceum parents are not from Belvidere.
What would you think if a parent said "I think 'college' level classes are an absurd program of laziness for parents in the Acre"?
Generalizations cut both ways....
We ALL want our kids in the higest level of class that they can handle....that is, and should be, the mission of high school.
If a student is in a class with different requirements, different expections, and a different grading system, how can you say those classes are equal?
I have two children in the Lyceum and 1 in the regular Honors program. I have seen first-hand how very diferent the classes are and I know which ones have the same "weight".
Lyceum students have much more rigorous classes their first two years. Plain and simple.
How would you feel if your child were in regular Honors classes, doing a specified amount of work. And then you found out that the students in 'college' level courses were getting the same credit on their transcripts for their work, when the work load was much lighter? So a child in "College Algebra 1" got an A and so did your child with "Honors Algebra 1". They then have the same GPA, and the same class rank even though one does much more work?
For some parents, GPA and class rank don't matter. For parents whose children are trying to go to the highest level of college, it matters.
Every year in Lowell, we have students accepted to the highest level colleges. Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, MIT. Class rank and GPA matter a lot.
Not just to Lyceum students.
If the classes are weighted, then the GPA will be different.
lhs mom

Boston, MA

#20 Apr 14, 2010
truth seeker wrote:
<quoted text>
If the classes are weighted, then the GPA will be different.
That would be the point.
Lyceum students should have their classes weighted to reflect differences in the expectations, just like all classes should be.

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