Raising the Bar for LAUSD Graduates: A-G Curriculum Policy Recommendations Presented at Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Committee
Beginning with the Class of 2017, all graduates will be eligible to enroll in the University of California (UC) or Cal State University (CSU) system or start a career, according to recommendations to be submitted for approval to the Board of Education on May 8.
At Tuesday’s Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Committee, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced its plans to implement an A-G Curriculum for incoming high school freshman in the 2012-2013 school year.
The proposal is in response to a 2005 Board of Education resolution to have all students pass college-prep A-G classes, which include a third year of math and two years of Foreign Language, to raise academic standards beginning with the graduating class of 2016.
The three main changes within the new graduation policy:
- Raises the standards for LAUSD graduates to meet the minimum college entrance requirements for UC/CSU campuses.
- Reduces the number of credits to graduate from 230 to 170 to allow more opportunities to pass A-G courses.
- Raises the passing grade from “D” to “C,” which would be implemented for the graduating Class of 2017.
With the proposed policy, LAUSD is prioritizing the courses students need to ensure that they are college-prepared and career-ready by graduation day.
What is A-G? 15 courses required for admission to University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU).
“What is needed in the workforce today are the same skills that are needed for college,” said Gerardo Loera, LAUSD Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “By adopting A-G as the standard and requiring students pass with a ‘C,’ LAUSD is raising the bar for all of our students to either be competitive in today’s workforce or go on to higher education.”
Reducing the graduation credits would give students more flexibility with their schedules to repeat classes or get tutoring during the school day due to limited availability for Summer School after State budget cuts.
Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Jaime Aquino shared that parents are concerned about keeping the 230 credits and making “C" the passing grade. By phasing in the two steps, LAUSD has created a safety net for students, he said.
For those concerned that the new policy would eliminate all electives, schools will continue to offer electives based on student need, including high level courses such as:
- Art History
- Forensic Science
- Additional year of foreign language
A-G and Career Technical Education (CTE) classes are compatible. The UC system has already approved more than 7,600 CTE classes that meet A-G requirements, including:
- Graphic Design
- Building Trades
- Information Technology
In addition, many students will have more room in their schedules to take elective courses by reducing the number of units needed to graduate. Students would also have the option of graduating early as most students who pass all their classes typically earn 180 credits by the end of their junior year.
In the spirit of local school autonomy, the policy would also provide additional flexibility for schools to design their programs to meet A-G requirements and meet student needs.
“Implementation of the new A-G Curriculum will not only raise the standards of our LAUSD graduates but also prepare all youth to achieve,” said Superintendent John Deasy.
Click here to read a Q&A session with Gerardo Loera, LAUSD Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, to clarify questions surrounding the proposed A-G curriculum policy. Click here to download the Q&A.
By: Lauren Alicia Mendoza
Posted: April 19, 2012