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March 22, 2011 > Preparing students for college and careers

Preparing students for college and careers

Board of Supervisors adopts resolution in support of countywide implementation of "A to G Requirements"

Submitted By Steven Blomquist and Jill Winkelstein

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors favors implementation of "A to G Requirements" in schools, county-wide. This reflects the importance of a quality education for future success of current students. "A to G Requirements" automatically place students on the path toward a college education by requiring them to take and pass certain college-track classes to qualify for entry into the University of California or California State University systems.

"There is a strong correlation between the lack of post-secondary education and the reliance on county services," said Supervisor Dave Cortese, President, Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. "The County's support of A to G requirements will help school districts realize the importance of preparing students for college and a successful career. Students should be placed on the track towards college, by default, rather than requiring them to opt in to that track."

The Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF), a longtime advocate for A-G implementation in area schools, joins the Board of Supervisors' March 15 resolution. SVEF worked closely last year with East Side Union High School District officials when they implemented "A-G" as the standard curriculum in that district, the second district in the county to do so. San Jose Unified School District imposed A-G in 1992, and has eight years of positive data pointing to success.

"The debate is simple. Students need to be on the A-G track. The requirements push them to reach for a higher standard," said Muhammed Chaudhry, SVEF President and CEO. "We're competing globally and students need to compete with the best and the brightest in the world. We have to get kids prepared to fill the workforce and become our future engineers and CEOs."

In Santa Clara County, only 47 percent of students are fulfilling the "A to G" requirements. Among those, 70 percent are Asian; 52 percent, Caucasian; 26 percent, African-American and 23 percent, Hispanic. Imposing A-G curriculum is a critical part of closing the achievement, or racial, gap.

The requirements expect students to pass 15 college-track courses and earn a 3.0 grade point average in them to qualify for entry to a University of California or California State University campus. School districts would mandate that students pass the classes. Only the UC and CSU systems use the "A to G" requirements.

Under "A-G," students must take at least three years of college prep math; two years of lab science; four years of English; two years of history/social science; two years of foreign language; one year of visual and performing arts, and a year of college prep-electives.

For more information, please call Steven Blomquist at (408) 299-5030 or Jill Winkelstein at (408) 790-9590.

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