Starting with this year’s ninth graders, nearly all San Francisco students must take college-prep classes required for admission to state universities, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Currently, 49 percent of graduates pass the college-prep courses with the minimum grade of C or higher.
Almost all of the district’s 4,200 freshmen will have to pass 15 courses, including four years of English, three years of math — through advanced algebra — and two years of a foreign language to graduate.
. . . anywhere from about 58-84% of all tested students (seniors aren’t tested) are less than proficient in English/Language Arts; in Algebra I, 85% of all tested students are less than proficient; and in Algebra II, 89% of all tested students are less than proficient.
At a minimum, high school is supposed to prepare students with the basic skills and knowledge needed to function in the adult world, Darren writes.
. . . Mission High shouldn’t be trying to make its students college-ready. It might start setting the bar at getting more than just a few of them proficient at high-school academics.
San Jose Unified made the college-prep A-G courses the default curriculum back in 2002. The graduation rate hasn’t gone down; the percentage of graduates eligible for state universities is up, writes Educated Guess.
For 2008, 41.3 percent of all graduates were eligible for a CSU school, with a C in every course, compared with 33.9 percent statewide. For Hispanics, the results were 29.1 percent CSU-eligible in San Jose Unified, compared with only 22.5 percent statewide and 23.6 percent in Santa Clara County. The percentage of CSU-eligible African-American graduates, a tiny portion of San Jose Unified, was identical to the state: only 23.3 percent.
But college prep for all pushes all students into the same mold, regardless of their ambitions or abilities. Teachers are pressured to pass students who haven’t really mastered the course material. They end up in college remedial classes.