Are LAUSD Kids College Ready?
Recent data released by the LAUSD revealed that nearly three-quarters of the current 10th grade class is at risk of not graduating on time because they will not meet the minimum college prep requirements set ten years ago. The requirements provide that students in the class of 2017 must earn a C grade or better in a set of courses aimed at making all seniors eligible to apply to the University of California and California State systems. The classes include four years of English and three years of math, including geometry and intermediate algebra. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times, stated that according to district research, among the nearly 37,000 students in the class of 2017, only 26% are on track to graduate and 17% are repeating 9th grade.
It is predicted that by 2025, there will be a shortage of 2.3 million college graduates in California. If we can’t get our kids prepared for and into college, how will we keep that gap from growing even larger? The public university system is the backbone of the California economy, but we are failing our kids if our high schools can’t ensure access for nearly three-quarters of the current class of 10th grade students. It is essential that the foundation be laid in middle school. Kids need to enter high school with a plan. They need to know what classes are required to graduate from high school and for admittance to a public university. While a college isn’t the best option for all kids, the opportunity to get a college degree should and must be an option.
As budgets have been slashed over the past several years, vital counseling and support services have been cut from the school day. It’s places like Heart of Los Angeles that have stepped in to fill the void. Every student in our middle school program leaves 8th grade with a college plan. They know exactly what’s required of them to graduate on time and gain access to the public university system. We collect their report cards and provide one-on-one academic support to ensure they are performing at grade level and progress through high school without falling behind. Every year, nearly all of the kids in our senior class graduate AND go on to college. Just imagine what California would look like if we could say this about our schools too.