Annapolis High School was visited by a film crew from NBC Nightly News this week to review how a slightly different approach to honors classes has helped to failing minority students achieve success at the school.
Principal Don Lilley told NBC that "a culture of change," had enveloped AHS, and has contributed to rising grades among minority students. When he arrived at the school nine years ago, Lilley said white students thrived, but minority students were failing.
In 2012, a program that opens the doors of honors-level courses to all students—not just high-grade earners. The idea was to raise the bar of expectation for all.
The move received criticism from parents, who felt that teachers might not be able to keep up with an honors classroom suddenly thrust into such academic diversity.
But Lilley said it has worked. NBC news reported that achievement at the school has gone up among African-Americans and Hispanic students, partly as a result of the honors program.