Photo by Art Torres.
Hundreds of parents, teachers, community leaders and grassroots organizations rallied Tuesday outside the LAUSD headquarters in support of a new resolution that seeks to improve a10-year-old policy aimed at closing the achievement gap and preparing all students for college and careers.
The resolution, The Equity on A-G: Reaffirming Our Commitment to A-G Life Preparation for All, was co-authored by board members Mónica García and Steve Zimmer, and is supported by many of the groups who helped pass the initial policy in 2005.
While the school district adopted the A-G college preparatory graduation requirements in 2005, community groups say the District has not been effective in its implementation, especially for low-income students and students of color.
“This resolution rings the alarm,” said Elmer Roldán, director of education at United Way in a written statement. “The community has fought to increase access to A-G for ten years. While more students have access to college today, students are still not given a high school diploma that allows them to choose their own path, “stated Roldán.
The A-G requirement includes English, math, social studies, foreign language, lab science, and visual and performing arts and college preparatory electives. It is a requirement that students need in order to graduate and meet University of California, and California State University eligibility requirements.
The resolution calls for a district-wide audit, an intervention for schools failing to meet standards, and an Individualized Graduation Plan for all seniors.
“The time for providing students with access to a successful college preparatory pathway is long overdue, “ said resolution co-author and District 2 Board member Monica Garcia in a written statement. “We need to recognize in today’s economy a college degree is the new high school diploma.”
In the last four years there has been a 16% increase in students graduating with the A-G requirements. According to a recent District Report Card, 57% of Asian students and 39% of White students are completing the A-G courses, while only 26% of Latino students and 19% of Black students in the district are fulfilling the requirement. Only 3% of English Language learners are completing the coursework.
Members of the coalition expressed disappointment at the delay of the vote, but say they feel confident the board will vote to pass the resolution next month.
The Board is scheduled to vote on the resolution on June 9.