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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LL Alum

Lowell, MA

#61 Jan 5, 2011
I realize that this post is, perhaps, late in coming however I feel that it is never the less important to shed some light on a different perspective.

As a student of the Lyceum who had many peers in 'regular' Honors classes, it was apparent to me that the Lyceum does pose some advantages for its students that are unlikely (but not impossible) to be offered at the standard Honors level. For example, the Freshman Seminar course that all Lyceum Students must take touches upon a broad range of topics from classical art to advertising strategies-- information that I still find gives me an edge over fellow students at an "elite" university. Additionally, the higher caliber of work demanded is enriching for students, much the same way that the additional push-ups after practice are enriching to an athlete.

Additionally, the Lyceum increases the profile of Lowell High School and places it on the track to compete with higher ranked high schools. You can not compare the "Lowell High Honors Classes" to Acton HS, but you can compare the Lyceum. Therefore, the presence of the Lyceum increases the profile of the school, which benefits all.

I see nothing wrong with extending the offer of a challenging curriculum to all students in the city. The argument that there are people who chose not to matriculate into the Lyceum, or chose to not take the test, but who should nevertheless be considered to be as talented is simple unsupportable. This argument is similar to saying: John is as smart as a CEO, but chose not to apply for the job, or chose a cubicle job instead, but nevertheless he should get paid what a CEO gets paid.

I have no doubt, as a former student, that there are very many talented people at LHS who are just as smart or smarter than many in the Lyceum. But at the end of the day, it was the student's choice not to enter the Lyceum, therefore they should not expect the benefits.

As for the aloofness or elitism that the Lyceum is often believed to have, I can honestly say that I did not experience or witness any such thing. On the contrary, my peers and I frequently down-played the fact that we were Lyceum students to better fit into mixed AP classes. As for the preferential treatment at the pep rally that one parent mentioned-- in my first years at LHS, the Lyceum actually had to sit out the pep rallies and other school events and watch them on TV because administration was unsure how to dismiss us. Lyceum students are Freshmen in the Upper Class buildings, and can not dismiss with either, causing the entire program to be left out or forced to attend as an isolated group.

I beg all the wonderful, caring, and involved parents and students who read this to remember some things: firstly, if you sign up to take a challenging class, do not expect extra credits for it. The challenge should be for the sake of educational opportunity and enrichment, but beyond that the simple fact that you in particular are "working harder" is not a valid argument, since everyone puts in different effort. Secondly, there is no benefit to depriving any student an educational opportunity-- instead we should focus on improving the educational opportunities for all students, not taking them away.

Lastly, the comment about the vast majority of non-honors or underperforming students is the real challenge to our school system today. Out of a graduating class of nearly 800, only perhaps the top few hundred go to colleges-- this is a failure of our system. All students should be able to graduate high school with either the opportunity to pursue a meaningful higher education, or pursue a meaningful career.

Education is an American right-- lets empower all Lowell Students with it.
Sam I Am

Los Gatos, CA

#62 Jan 5, 2011
That post had a cogent argument and was more informative than the average Sun article. By the look of it, Lowell High should be stoked about the Lyceum. That kid is more coherent than anyone on this forum.
LL Student

Mattapan, MA

#63 Aug 3, 2012
Wow a lot of you guys are seriously misinformed... The latin lyceum is nothing like what you are portraying it as. I can speak first hand that not all lyceum students are rich and "entitled" as you say. The classes are easy, omitting HH Alg 2 for the freshmen. To address another issue... students are dropping out due to shear laziness and or passionate hatred for certain teachers (whose classes they weren't receiving A's in). I know that this topic may be a little out dated but I don't want people getting the wrong impression from these complaints. If your child is struggling to get a C in the latin lyceum then they probably made it in because of luck. With all the support from both the staff and other students it's extremely hard to fall below a B in any subject... excluding the English class which is always a calamity of improvised lessons (I love the class though :3!).
Alexandra

Lowell, MA

#64 May 18, 2013
My sister is in the lyceum and she's learning the same things as my oldest sister, who's in college. My older sister is brilliant, but she got honors instead of high honors. I think it's clear the lyceum is working their students harder than the rest of the school. Once I compared a normal freshman's homework with my sister's and I could tell the normal freshman's was less difficult than my sister's without reading anything. Do you know anyone who is actually in the lyceum? Take a look at their wor. P.S. Iwasbexceptedbinto the lyceum too.
who="Another parent"]<quoted text>
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.
Lyceum Student

Lowell, MA

#65 Jun 3, 2013
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.
The luceum is hard to get into and hard to pass. The normal LHS students who didn't pass the test have higher grades because their courses are easier. The "royalty" do deserve to be treate special because they are brilliant.

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