LAUSD's Road to College for All
by UCLA IDEA
Week of June 3-10, 2013
Eight years ago, LAUSD passed a resolution requiring students to successfully complete a college-preparatory curriculum (known as A-G) to graduate. The new requirements start with the Class of 2016, or those students who are just finishing this school year as 9th graders.
A-G is a series of college-preparatory courses California high school students must take in order to be eligible for admission into either a California State University or University of California campus. Each letter corresponds to a subject area. High school students are required to pass a minimum of 15 yearlong (or 30 semester) courses to meet eligibility criteria.
A new report by UCLA IDEA and the Alliance for A Better Community, funded by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, provides information on LAUSD’s progress towards graduating students with successful completion of the A-G requirement.. The report gives percentages of students who have passed the coursework, and it describes schools that are doing a better job of graduating students college-ready.
Using 2010-11 district data, The Road Ahead: A Snapshot of A-G Implementation within the Los Angeles Unified School District found a substantial gap between the percentage of students who began 9th grade in 2007 and graduated in 2011 (62%) and those who graduated with the successful completion of A-G (19%). The A-G completion rates were even lower for black (14%), Latino (17%) and English learner (7%) students who graduated in 2011.
The report also included the number of students who were on track to graduate A-G eligible, meaning they had successfully passed a certain number of A-G courses by each grade level. Thirty-eight percent of LAUSD students were on track to be college eligible at the end of 9th grade in 2011. (This figure represents a slight increase from the 33 percent of students who finished 9th grade on track in 2008.) Black and Latino students were more likely than their Asian and white counterparts to fall off track.
The district also saw steady-yet-slight increases in the percentages of students who passed college-preparatory math and science courses (with a grade of “C” or better). In 2011, about 57 percent of high school students in grades 9-12 passed a college- preparatory math course (up from 53 percent in 2008), and 64 percent of students passed a college-preparatory science course (up from 62 percent in 2008).
The numbers provide a snapshot. The landscape is different now than it was in 2011. The stakes are higher for the district, schools, students, their families, and communities as only students who fulfill the A-G requirements will receive a high school diploma in 2016. The district is moving to implement new policies and practices with the goal of addressing the current gap between the proportion of students who graduate from the LAUSD and those who graduate with the successful completion of A-G. Moving forward, it will be important for policymakers to be guided by the expectations of students and their families, who seek the skills, knowledge and abilities necessary for college access and success.
Community and district leaders, including Supt. John Deasy, board President Monica Garcia (invited), and board Member Steve Zimmer, will meet later this month for a roundtable discussion on this report and further implementation efforts. Moving Forward with A-G for All: From the Perspective of District Leaders will be held June 20 at the California Community Foundation Palevsky Center, 281 S. Figueroa St., Suite 100. Those interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.