K-12 Districts Raise Concerns Over Cal State Admissions Proposal

Students listen in a computer lab at L.A. Unified's Fremont High School in South Los Angeles.
Students listen in a computer lab at L.A. Unified's Fremont High School in South Los Angeles.
Kyle Stokes/KPCC

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California students may soon need to take an extra year of math or a  related course like coding, personal finance or a lab science in high school to qualify for admission to the Cal State University system.  Leaders of some K-12 districts — from Anaheim to Santa Ana to L.A. Unified — oppose the change. 

Audrey Dow, from the Campaign for College Opportunity, said districts are concerned that there aren't enough qualified teachers to fill the proposed requirement and also fear that the change would shut black and Latino students out of college. 

L.A. Unified School board member Mónica García wondered if CSU leaders are hoping the tougher admissions requirement solves a space problem. “I am worried this is an enrollment management strategy,” she said.

One big district supporting the change, though, is Long Beach Unified, whose superintendent is also a CSU trustee.  That district has long required a fourth year of math — and CSU says that’s boosted graduation rates among students of color.