Kennedy’s Struggle with Academics

 A student’s perspective on Kennedy’s low academics

by Mechelle Haro – 7/31/17

School is finally out and after four years at Kennedy High School, I can finally say that my time at Kennedy was a strange one. From teachers that seemed to care little for students to students that seemed to lose their manners as the years went by, Kennedy had its own array of problems to deal with. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Kennedy as a high school, but when it comes to its academics, Kennedy made me think about switching schools more than once.

To begin with, Kennedy has some of the worst teachers for some  of its AP classes. I won’t disclose who those teachers were, or what classes they taught, but let me just say that when AP students are encouraged to score at least a 2 on an AP test to show they know a little bit on the subject, then there is something wrong with the AP program. And not only were students encouraged to get at least a 2, they would also spend the entire period doing nothing but making fun of other students and talking. Oh, and let me not forget the fact that some of these AP teachers would just spend the year either doing nothing for the class or just playing movies. Sounds like we have some great AP teachers, right?

Not only were the AP teachers bad teachers at Kennedy, the AP program itself was also very small. When I first entered Kennedy, there was only about 9 AP classes being offered. Some of these included AP Art History, AP Calculus AB, and AP English Literature. When I got to my senior year, I planned to take about 4 AP classes. This was turned into a disappointment when I was told that there was no AP Chemistry, no AP Physics, and no other AP science class. How was I supposed to get ahead in my career when the classes that benefited my major were not being offered?

Kennedy did, however, expand their AP program this recent year as it added one more AP class into their system: AP Environmental Science. And there is more to come, as promised by the administration, this coming year. Hopefully, it doesn’t turn out like Kennedy’s promise for an AP Computer Science class that was offered the end of my junior year; the class was never created.

And even with new AP classes being offered for the years to come, there is no hope for some students as Kennedy is known for getting some low scores when it comes to tests. According to Kennedy’s School Report Card, only 20% of Kennedy’s students are enrolled in at least one AP course, and out of those 20%, only 40% earned a score of 3 or higher on the AP test. Not even half of our students pass the AP tests.

But how bad can Kennedy’s academics really be? You got students going to UCLA. None going to any Ivy League schools, but UCLA is pretty high. You also have students that love their teachers as friends and come to visit throughout the year. Kennedy might have it’s own problems when it comes to academics, but when it comes to evaluating Kennedy as a whole, it is one of the best schools (in my opinion) in the Granada Hills Area.