English/Language Arts (9th/10th/11th grades)
% advanced: 14/6/6
% proficient: 28/13/11
% basic: 24/28/27
% below basic: 20/26/23
% far below basic: 14/27/34
Algebra I (9th/10th/11th/end of course)--a requirement for graduation in California
% advanced: 0/0/no score/0
% proficient: 17/0/no score/15
% basic: 20/5/no score/18
% below basic: 37/43/no score/38
% far below basic: 26/52/no score/29
Algebra II (9th/10th/11th/end of course)--a minimum requirement for acceptance to a 4-year university in California
% advanced: no score/12/2/5
% proficient: no score/14/0/5
% basic: no score/8/5/6
% below basic: no score/18/25/22
% far below basic: no score/47/68/61
So let's recap. At this one school, 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.
Why do I bring this up? Because this particular school has decided that all students must meet the University of California/California State University entrance requirements upon graduating from high school:
But the new freshmen at San Francisco's Mission High School also had to face something else Monday: In the next four years, they will have to complete all college prep classes required for admission to the University of California and California State University systems to graduate.We don't need more college students, what we need is prospective college students who are ready to perform college-level work without the need for remedial classes. High school isn't supposed to be just a college preparatory academy, it's also supposed to prepare students to be able to function, with a wide variety of at least basic skills and knowledge, in the adult world.
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.
The plan, based on what are commonly called A-G requirements after the seven-part itemized checklist of courses, was implemented by the school board in spring 2009 and is designed to increase the number of college-bound graduates coming out of San Francisco high schools. The class of 2014, which started high school Monday, will be the first that must complete the 15-course requirement.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/17/BAUL1EUPE2.DTL#ixzz0wuc8he6k
Based on the standardized testing results I quoted above, and the full list of them available at the first link, 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.