With just three months to go before a mandatory college-prep curriculum takes effect, the Los Angeles Unified board gave lukewarm support Tuesday to a policy that outlines how the program will be implemented.
The resolution written by East San Fernando Valley board member Nury Martinez orders Superintendent John Deasy to design and implement an instructional plan for rolling out the so-called A-G curriculum, a slate of 15 college-prep classes that every student will have to pass to graduate.
The curriculum takes effect with the Class of 2016 – students who will be entering ninth grade when the new semester begins in mid-August.
Members of the Class of 2017 will have to pass those A-G classes with a “C” rather than the current “D,” which will make graduates eligible for entry to the state’s public universities.
But lingering concerns that the more rigorous coursework will spark a flood of dropouts, along with worries about long-term financial impacts, prompted three board members to vote against Martinez’s resolution. They included Bennett Kayser, Richard Vladovic and Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who cast the sole no vote when the A-G issue was first broached by the board back in 2005.
“We need a plan,” LaMotte said. “We don’t need a plan to make a plan.”
Kayser sought to bring more definition to the resolution, with an amendment that would have required Deasy to create a budget for implementing A-G, reduced class sizes in middle and high schools and provided more training for teachers. It also would have restored the number of credits needed for graduation back to 230, from the 210 units under the new plan. (Read more.)