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Parents Urge Fairfax Schools To Bring Back Honors Courses

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A group of parents wants board members to reverse course on a decision made a few years ago to eliminate some high school honors courses.

The courses sit between classes at the general education level and the schools' college level advanced placement classes. The number of high school honors courses is dwindling in Fairfax County high schools.

School board chair Kathy Smith says the move away from a three-tiered academic system is better for students.

"I think we're better served -- when a kid has a choice and wants to take a more rigorous course -- if we can put them in an AP class," she says. "It's been proven through studies that those kids are more successful in college."

But Woodson High School parent Megan McLaughlin -- who's running for school board this year -- says more former honors students are choosing general education classes instead of AP classes.

"Montgomery County, Howard County, and Loudoun County provide these honors alternatives for English and social studies and we simply feel that Fairfax County should provide the same," McLaughlin says.

McLaughlin says so far parent-teacher groups at six high schools are working together on a resolution supporting restoration of the courses.

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