More stringent graduation requirements will kick in for San Diego Unified’s class of 2016, and to prepare for the crunch, the district said it has put more counselors in place, expanded summer school and is preparing students earlier for the college prep courses they’ll need to graduate.
But the 2016 deadline isn’t far away, and the district isn’t prepared to say how many students are on track to graduate.
And even though graduation requirements will be ramped up, the district says graduation rates won’t plummet because students can still pass tough new classes with Ds (so long as their overall grade point average is above a 2.0).
Fewer than half of all students who graduated from San Diego Unified in 2013 – the most recent data available – earned a C or better in so-called A-G courses, college-prep classes required to get into University of California and California State University schools.
And according to the district’s own numbers, those rates aren’t expected to improve much – only by about 10 percent in the next two years. Translate that to the number of students who would graduate ready for college in 2016, and thousands could fall short.
But Ron Rode, director of the district’s Office of Accountability, said it’s inappropriate to compare students who graduated in 2013 to students who may graduate in 2016.
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The intent of the “a-g” subject requirements is to ensure that students have attained a body of general knowledge that will provide breadth and perspective to new, more advanced study.
Courses from California high schools used to satisfy the "a-g" subject requirements must be certified by UC and appear on the school's "a-g" course list. These courses are to be academically challenging, involving substantial reading, writing, problems and laboratory work (as appropriate), and show serious attention to analytical thinking, factual content and developing students' oral and listening skills.The subject requirement
- History/social science (“a”) – Two years, including one year of world history, cultures and historical geography and one year of U.S. history, or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of American government or civics.
- English (“b”) – Four years of college preparatory English that integrates reading of classic and modern literature, frequent and regular writing, and practice listening and speaking.
- Mathematics (“c”) – Three years of college-preparatory mathematics that include or integrate the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry.
- Laboratory science (“d”) – Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of the three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Language other than English (“e”) – Two years of the same language other than English or equivalent to the second-level of high school instruction.
- Visual and performing arts (“f”) – One year chosen from dance, drama/theater, music or visual art.
- College-preparatory elective (“g”) – One year chosen from the “a-f” courses beyond those used to satisfy the requirements above, or courses that have been approved solely in the elective area.
California high schools can submit their courses to UC for “a-g” certification using the Online Update website. A course's "a-g" approval is based on the “a-g” course evaluation guidelines and the subject-specific course criteria established by UC faculty. Once approved, the "a-g" course is added to the school's "a-g" course list. To satisfy the subject requirements, the course must appear on the school's course list for the year the student took the course.
In my day the role of the "Master Counselor" was played by the principal. Really, more layers of bureaucracy? How much pay is this "Master Counselor" raking in? S/he will assure that schools are offering A-G courses. Isn't that part of district mandated curriculum? Unbelievable.
"I believe in equity.", says Cindy Marten. According to Webster, equity means "fairness and justice in the way people are being treated."
I just noticed that 13 schools are having 'community input" meetings, to help choose a new principal, next week. See sandi.net.
Not sure if they all retired, several are too young and I don't think principals got the same financial incentive as the teachers to retire.
I looked over the list of principals who were in these schools last year. If they were pressured to retire or go back to the classroom, I see the makings of an "age discrimination" or "racial discrimination" lawsuit, based on who was targeted.
This is the tactic the Bersin/Alvarado/Fink dictatorship used to bring everyone to their knees. No surprise, since so many Bersin retreads have been promoted by Marten.
I wish the school board would be less of a cheer leading squad for Marten, and ask questions that begin with who, what, where, when and especially why.
@francesca In 2012 the first group of students from the Bersin Administration began to graduate, graduation levels jumped 20%, proof that Bersin's ideas were correct.
Thanks for the above explanation of A to G classes. They just revamped them at last evening's meeting. (October 28, 2014) Actually they only added a year of foreign language, but Cheryl Hibbeln seemed to be taking credit for having invented A to G...and blamed principals and teachers for any and all shortcomings.
Bersin...is responsible for the jump of 20% in the graduation rate in 2012? How about the innovations and policies of Cohn, Grier and Kowba...especially Kowba, who was the superintendent in 2012.
Really hard to tell what caused the increase. Bersin left around 2006, six years before the improvement. So many other factors, Dropout Prevention Office brought in by Cohn and continued by Grier...many, many more.
So, let me get things right:
Trustee Barnett is leaving (and unopposed) after his current term, supporting parent Amy Redding's run to challenge President Beiser's seat. Mr. Barrera has a second career as a labor advocate. Trustee Evans writes an article that praises the unanimous passing of a budget and placing all glory to Super Cindy Marten. Trustee Foster gets blasted by her own sub-district parents at the June 24th meeting and Mr. Beiser gets the same for missing classroom time. And finally, the acclaimed "district watchdog" Sally Smith is applauded by media for her commitment and tenacity.
Well, with the assumption of correctness here, where is the performance...and where is the transparency? All that has happened so far is a massive restructuring (simple reassignment) of central office positions, an enormous post & bid list, re-identifying valid resource positions to lower class size, and summertime principal changes. A lot of people shuffling, again not much performance.
1 - The A-G (once A-F) requirement have been in place for years - and if any school site wasn't supporting it, the administrator was seriously disenfranchising far too many students. Sorry, trade lovers, a carpenter's belt or a wrench doesn't quite make it these days.
2- Mr(s). Barnett and Beiser did provide some good quality debates, but a consistent one vote dissention does get discouraging.
3 - Mr. Barrera - make a decision and Dr. Evans' article - all puffy!!
4 - Ms. Foster needs some experience before taking on such a position - thank you sisters Campbell and Webber.
5 - Sorry attendance fans, earned sick and personal leave time is not newsworthy. Part of the contract.
6 - The district watchdog "citizen" - applaud her resilience, but please look at the real issues.
7 - Super Cindy Marten does need to realize that her dream-speak is appears redundant and old when there is little observable evidence of change.
As for clarity and transparency - where is the clear and transparent conversation regarding actual student outcomes, actual expectations of parents and community, and actual budget inequities. Where is the public involvement in the "current" teacher contract negotiations.
As well, and possibly somewhat more immediate - if the current humanitarian issue regarding So. American refugees plays out as predicted, what's the plan?