Thursday, April 19, 2012

Admitting The Failure of Higher Standards

It's true that kids won't reach high standards if we don't set the bar high for them. On the other hand, merely setting the bar high isn't enough to get them to reach for the stars:
Eight years ago, the Los Angeles Board of Education adopted an ambitious plan to have all students take college-prep classes to raise academic standards in the nation's second-largest school district.

Now, that plan is about to take effect: Beginning this fall, incoming freshmen will have to pass those classes to graduate.

On Tuesday, district officials backtracked, offering details of a proposal to reduce overall graduation requirements and allow students to pass those classes with a D grade.

They must change course, Los Angeles Unified School District officials said, or they would open the doors to scores of dropouts and others who can't pass the more rigorous requirements. The new plan, which still must be approved by the board, would allow students to graduate with 25% fewer credits.

"If we don't do something, we have to be prepared to be pushing out kids as dropouts," said Deputy Supt. Jaime Aquino at a school-board committee meeting Tuesday. "We face a massive dropout rate in four years."

Currently, a student must earn 230 credits to graduate. Under the proposal, that requirement would be reduced to 170 credits, the minimum set by the California Department of Education. Among the requirements to be dropped are: health/life skills, technology and electives that cover a broad range of subjects, including calculus and journalism.
They're going to drop health/life skills. Can you imagine trying to explain dropping a course in health/life skills? What does this tell us about LA Mummified that we didn't already know or assume?

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

Texas "four by four" program to include four core classes in all four years of high school has resulted in watering down of advanced courses and in creating courses which sound advanced, but which in reality are remedial, in order to placate state administrators. It's a silly game.