At North Toronto, we like to think that we go to the most difficult school in the TDSB. Our academic standards are quite high compared to some schools, but there are also some schools where it is just as difficult to do well. One of these schools is Lawrence Park. The workload is extremely similar to ours; the three people I interviewed, who have averages ranging from 82%-90%, do about 2-3 hours of homework every weekday and 8-10 hours on the weekend. I work about the same amount. In addition, although North Toronto prides itself on strong involvement in extracurricular activities, I
think that my very involved friends at Lawrence participate in just as many
activities as very involved North Toronto students. My friend Laura has four
music rehearsals a week, plus responsibilities leading three clubs, and 8 hours
working at a pool; another friend, Lara, has three in-school rehearsals, plus
two music lessons, every week. They both have commitments afterschool everyday.
Academically, I think assessment is about equal in difficulty. My friend’s English essay, which got a 72% at Lawrence, got a 78-80% from a very fair North Toronto English teacher. Although this is a significant difference, I think it is more representative of different expectations than easier marking. A Lawrence Park World Issues test was deemed “too straightforward” and “unrepresentative of university standards” by an NT
teacher, and a Lawrence Park Advanced Functions test was called “fair” by a North Toronto math teacher; these various assessments seem to balance out.
However, Lawrence Park students have one distinct disadvantage. Teachers at that school use the Knowledge Application Communication Thinking marking system, meaning that students are assessed with equal consideration of each of these categories. This means that tests are detailed and more balanced between simple knowledge questions and more difficult application and
thinking questions. This system makes it much more difficult to get very high