When I first heard that the Los Angeles Unified School District was going to force every student to pass the state college standards to graduate, I knew it sounded like a crock. Now we find out it was a copycat of San Jose, which overstated its accomplishments. After teaching 30 years in L.A. Unified, I knew our kids weren't prepared. Graduation rates are already lousy, and the district keeps making it harder for these kids.
Why do the administrators keep messing with the goals and content of schools? To make themselves look good for whipping us into shape. But most superintendents are gone in five or seven years, and the new one wants to throw out the previous requirements and bring in his pet theories.
No one asks teachers and students what they need. We need continuity.
I'm getting a little burned out on this term "college prep." It slights community colleges, which remain an attractive option for many reasons. College prep should actually be called "four-year university prep," and trying to squeeze all students into that box ignores the reality that the ongoing budget woes and low acceptance rates at Cal State and University of California campuses keep students out of "college" anyway.
Though I applaud raising expectations for students, I'm flummoxed by any district denying students a diploma because they don't meet a college-prep mandate.