In a commentary last week, four LA Unified students demanded that the district retain the A-G college-prep graduation requirements — Cs or better for a diploma — despite warnings that it would lead to tens of thousands of students not graduating in the years ahead.
While more money and resources often solve problems, they will not address the core issue here, which I believe is the A-G requirement itself. The A-G requirement was designed to fix one problem, but it was far too simplistic, and we are now seeing the unintended consequences: it is hurting too many students.
It is now time to ask whether every one of the A-G courses has to be a requirement for high school graduation.
Advanced algebra? Two years of a language?
This quickly becomes a zero-sum game, I know, but couldn’t we offer several different pathways to graduation – some semi-academic ones in addition to the specifically academic one? Instead of throwing money at remedial summer school, a better choice would be spending on oversight for assuring true choice and for tutoring, options that have not been available for some college-aspiring students.
I am not arguing for a return to the segregation of the vocational track. I am arguing for flexibility.
Why not take the non-required “electives” that are worth 25 credits and boost them to 40 credits, and allow students to take more ROP (Regional Occupational Program) and CTE (Career and Technical Education) and Linked Learning courses — agriculture, automotive, technology and other specialized trades — on the way to 210 total credits?