LAUSD Unanimously Approves García Resolution to Recommit to A-G for All

 LOS ANGELES (June 9, 2015) - Today, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted in favor to build on the momentum that began in 2005 to provide all students with access to and success in college preparation courses.

Since 2005, the district’s A-G completion rate has doubled and has seen a 7 percent decrease in dropout rates. Graduation rates have also increased by 25 percent since 2007.
Sponsored by board members Mónica García, George McKenna, and Board Vice President Steve Zimmer, the resolution celebrates the 10-year anniversary of A-G for All, requires the superintendent to return in 120 days with an audit that identifies gaps in resources, as well as orders necessary investments in interventions for successful completion of A-G courses for all students.
 
“Our community’s demand is loud and clear: A-G is the path to graduation in LAUSD. We believe our children are capable of achieving their potential and that every child, with the proper academic support, can become a college and career ready LAUSD graduate,” said García. “We continue to move forward towards 100 percent graduation.”
 
“I do not know of a more important issue facing our students and our families than equity in access to higher education,” said Zimmer, who serves as board vice president. “Today’s resolution strikes a precise balance between moving forward with the urgency this American Dream demands while providing a safety net to ensure no student is punished because we have been unable to fully resource the initial A-G resolution. I believe in every one of our students and I know that when our investments and supports match our students’ potential we can and we will realize the promise of equity not only in opportunity but also in transformed education outcomes.

“We are not lowering standards,” said McKenna. “D has always been a passing grade. Of course, we have much higher expectations for all students. However, it is punitive to deny a high school diploma to a student who got one or two Ds. He or she may or may not qualify for Cal State or the UC system, but he or she would still eligible for higher education, including community colleges. If those students wanted to work, without a diploma they couldn’t get a civil service job, head to the post office, or go into the military. Too many options would be closed.”

"I want to commend Board Member García for her openness to working with board colleagues in revising the Equity on A-G resolution,” said Board Member Mónica Ratliff. “In particular, I am grateful that Ms. García accepted as friendly my amendment calling for the Superintendent to determine, and the Board to consider, the costs of the resolution’s initiatives for the 2016-17 school year and beyond."
 
“We urge the Board of Education to make a long-lasting commitment to A-G to ensure all students have the opportunity to be prepared for college and choose their future,” said Maria Brenes, executive director, InnerCity Struggle. “The Equity in A-G Resolution will continue LAUSD on a path forward – providing students and families with the security that their neighborhood schools are places where they and their children can reach success.”

"There's urgency to re-direct resources to the highest need schools so that we can ensure every student has access to the supports they need to be college ready," said Los Angeles City Councilmember-Elect Marqueece Harris-Dawson (District 8).

“As a non-profit partner of the school district, I congratulate the school board for re-committing to A-G. These courses, when implemented the right way, will provide students with the quality education they need to succeed in school and in their careers. United Way is committed to creating pathways out of poverty, and in my mind, nothing is more important than a quality education,” said Elise Buik, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

“LAUSD must embrace excellence and affirm its commitment to a high-quality education for all students,” said Alberto Retana, president and CEO of Community Coalition.

“The debate surrounding A-G requirements has been going on for too long. Los Angeles needs a stronger economy for the future, and that comes from good jobs and a strong work force,” Retana added. “The city has taken the first step and raised the minimum wage. LAUSD must now step forward and ensure all students can access higher education or succeed in any career field they choose. Let’s work together to ensure that our students can meet the A-G requirements and thrive.”

“The Board of Education has demonstrated that preparing students for college and career is a priority,” said Maria Casillas, distinguished teacher, administrator and relentless advocate. “This is the District’s second chance to get it right and our community looks forward to the schools our students and families deserve.”

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Contact: Thomas Waldman (213) 241-6766