News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print


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Automatic-enrollment predicted to be a ‘beautiful mess’

Counselors, students, and staff weigh in on the newest state law
Jo Brown
A big change to the way students are enrolling for classes is coming for the ‘24-’25 school year. Will you be enrolled in an upper-level class?

What is auto-enrollment? Auto-enrollment is a new Illinois law where students are automatically enrolled in classes based on a state test scores. 

The only way to get out of these classes is if a student gets parental permission to drop them.

Auto-enrollment has been a hot topic for students and teachers alike. 

Some hate it, but others see the positive sides to this new law. A handful are surprised that they’re enrolled.

The new law seems to be helping people think about things like whether they’re ready for an advanced class. Some seem to be very against joining and others are giving it a try.

Student counselor, Ms. Tohme, thinks there are great reasons to take advanced classes, “such as that weighted GPA, and then it does help [students] prepare for college-level classes in those areas.”

However, Tohme does recognize that just because a student scores high enough and does well in the class, doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily do well in the advanced classes. It all ultimately depends on the individual student. 

Many students and elective teachers believe this will harm elective classes. 

Ms. Tohme imagines that it has the potential for harm because students may not have room for electives if they’re taking these advanced classes. 

However, the counselors have been focusing on making sure  people are taking classes that are required for a high school graduation. 

For example, if a junior has met the requirement for science (two years), but gets enrolled in an advanced science class, then they won’t be automatically enrolled because it’s not required to take three years for graduation.

In much the same way, chair of the Social Studies Department, Dr. John Bierbaum, believes that the law ultimately has good intentions but in execution will be a “beautiful mess.” Bierbaum’s position is unique because at West you either have to take Civics or AP Government, and the two classes run parallel to each other. This, in effect, will mean that with Auto-enrollment, he will see fewer students in Civics and more in AP government.

Communication is also an issue because students have to have their parent’s permission to get out of the class, which can be irritating.

Additionally, Bierbaum pointed out that the number of students going to advanced classes will increase, but that a decent number of those students will drop or otherwise do poorly.

Overall, auto-enrollment will lead to more of our students going into advanced classes, but those statistics won’t necessarily correlate to their success in those classes. 

Ultimately, it’s still early and we will have to wait to see this law’s full effect on Normal West.


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