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Cortines: We must be ‘realistic’ about college prep requirements

LA School Report | May 6, 2015

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By Howard Blume

As many as three-quarters of Los Angeles 10th-graders are at risk of being denied diplomas by graduation because they are not on track to meet rigorous new college prep class requirements.

This has prompted some in the L.A. Unified School District, including Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, to suggest reconsidering the requirements, which were approved a decade ago to better prepare students for college. The plan came after years of complaints that the nation’s second-largest school system was failing to help underprivileged students become eligible for and succeed in college.

In an interview, Cortines said the effort is laudable, but that it would be unfair to penalize students who otherwise could graduate.

“I do believe the goal is a good one, but we need to be realistic,” Cortines said. Enforcing the plan is “not practical, realistic or fair to the students of 2017. I don’t think we’ve provided the supports to the schools.”

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