Readers React

LAUSD shouldn't lower the bar for struggling students

To the editor: As a college instructor, I see firsthand the benefits that the Los Angeles Unified School District's college-preparatory curriculum provides graduates. I am saddened to learn that rather than going forward with a plan to require students to earn at least a C in all college-prep classes, the district may soften its standards, potentially allowing credit for Ds. ("LAUSD college prep rule puts nearly 75% of 10th graders' diplomas at risk," May 6)

This sends the wrong message. Why can't LAUSD students work a bit harder? Why can't students successfully pass four years of English so that they can articulate themselves in their professional and social lives as adults?

While I strongly agree with critics of the LAUSD plan who say that college is not for everyone, I still believe that a basic high school diploma is necessary and that whatever courses are mandated, that students have to earn a grade of C or better to earn one.

Instead of lowering the standards, change the standards so that all students are prepared for the world outside high school and not just for the insular world of colleges and universities.

Tamar Andrews, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Because of the many business vocational classes I completed in high school, I was able to work my way through college and achieve my dream of becoming a business teacher. Today's complete emphasis on college-prep classes has virtually destroyed vocational education in California's schools due to the belief that it was a relic of the past and an inferior education.

How lucky I was to learn under yesterday's thinking of the great value of vocational education in our schools.

Marianne Friedman, Alhambra

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