In 2011, the school board took a bold step toward making sure all students in San Diego Unified graduate high school prepared to enter college. Too many students, especially poor and minority students, were graduating without the courses they needed to get into University of California and California State University schools.
So trustees decided that every student must pass a series of college-prep classes, known as A-G courses, in order to graduate high school.
While the new graduation requirements take effect this year, the conversation has been ongoing since 2009, when counselors had to break the news to seniors at schools like Lincoln and Crawford that despite their best efforts, they wouldn’t be eligible to enter UC or CSU schools because their high schools failed to offer them the classes colleges required for admission.
But after five years of work, a new study shows that roughly 1,000 students could be denied a diploma this year. Those most likely to fall short are, in large part, students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In other words, the very students the graduation policies were designed to help are those being left out of the success.
The school board passed a resolution in 2009 stating all high schools needed to offer college-going classes. A couple years later, they upped the ante: Starting in 2016, all students must earn at least a D in A-G courses in order to graduate high school. (A-G courses only count for UC/CSU schools if students earn a C or better, but the district didn’t want to set the bar too high, so it allowed students to pass with D’s).
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
I have question about the validity of your statement "they wouldn’t be eligible to enter UC or CSU schools because their high schools failed to offer them the classes colleges required for admission."
What were your sources for this claim?
Based on what I know, this is inaccurate.
I do not underestimate Barrera when he says:
“I would approach the possibility with a high degree of skepticism that we would be creating two-tiered diplomas, one for the students who we decide are ‘college-material’ and watered-down requirements for those we think are not,” Barrera said.
If he is serious, he has just thrown down the gauntlet. He has just said (inadvertently?) that now all have access to college prep. THAT MEANS YOU CANNOT BLAME YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL for not having the classes necessary to go to college.
Does this mean that students / parents will now (finally?) be responsible for their children's performance in school? We can stop blaming the "system" for holding back students from college?
Please don't misunderstand me... We still need to ensure that we focus on improving academic performance, teacher quality, school leadership, and district management. We still have a disparity of rigorous curriculum (e.g. AP courses are not offered equally in all parts of the district). However, can we finally put to rest the lack of fundamental opportunity?
If the California Education code calls for something, doesn't the school district have to do it? Can I selectively apply the motor vehicle code, too?
Has any study looked into details regarding which courses are causing the lower success rates for certain groups of students? Furthermore, a one-size-fits-all-students seems unreasonable because there are various professions and careers which don't require a UC or CU degree but do require a high school diploma. These careers may be equally desirable to some students. An assumption that all must be college bound may well be discouraging to some students, particularly those who struggle with school already.
Yes, it's important not to create separate tracks to which entire categories of students (too often based on low expectations of students in certain ethnic and/or economic groups) are directed based on administration's assumptions about who may or may not be appropriately assigned to A-G versus "other" tracks but surely, with care and consultation with students & parents, perhaps some means to provide alternatives beyond the absolutely essential base educational courses can be developed.
"Owing to a lag in standardized tests, Marten has faced few objective measures..."
But are graduation rates, based on very subjective course grades, an objective measure? No.
I think how this reflects on Cindy Marten should be the last thing to be considered.
A political issue for Marten?
Educating children should be about what's best for children, not how their scores or grades help the ambitious adults.
This feels like more north of 8 south of 8 bias; the correlation of low-achieving students to so-called high-crime areas. I cannot wrap my brain around a condition where students are said to be failing when the classes used to measure their success are either not offered or they are failing because the district didn’t want to set the bar too high. How is it possible that students were allowed to pass with D’s; a failing grade for State Colleges; could someone explain? Antonin Scalia is dead but his way of thinking is alive and well with these jokers.
Perhaps it is time to educate the educators. Set the bar high and watch the kids soar over it.