Increasing Access to "a-g" Curriculum

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Spotting the bottlenecks

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So what does this all mean? 

This kind of analysis gives you a way to see where the bottlenecks are in students meeting the "a-g" requirements. Your school might offer more that 62.5% “a-g” sections, but many students might still not meet minimum eligibility requirements?  What about becoming more competitive? Take a look at your tallies again by subject area. 

Math is a great place to start. Algebra represents possibly the most important hurdle for students on their path to UC/CSU eligibility. How many sections of Algebra I are there?  Be sure to include Algebra 1A and 1B if you offer them. Next, how many sections of Geometry do you offer? You should have almost as many sections of Geometry as you do Algebra. You want to have about half the number of Algebra II or Intermediate Algebra sections as you do of Geometry? How many section are there of Calculus or Math Analysis? 

Lab Science
Check out Lab Science next. Compare the number of sections of Biology to the number of sections of Earth or Physical Science. Most Earth and Physical Science classes do not qualify for laboratory science ("d") course credit. Biology is also often a prerequisite for other science classes. Do you offer enough sections of Chemistry and Physics for every junior and senior?

Languages Other Than English
What about Languages Other Than English (LOTE)? What languages do you offer? How many sections of each level? If you offer Spanish, for example, count the numbers of slots available in Spanish 1, 2, 3, and 4? Since the University of California requires two years of the same language but recommends more, are there enough sections of Spanish 3 and 4 to accommodate all the students interested in progressing from levels 1 and 2?

Honors and AP
How many sections of Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses do you offer?  What percentage of your courses?  Is that enough for all students passing with a C or better to take at least two Honors or AP courses in their junior or senior years? When are the AP courses offered? With what other courses do they conflict? Other core courses? Electives? Academy courses? ROTC? CTE? Who teaches these courses? Could more teachers become AP trained? Which teachers have a common prep? Could they work together?

Student Enrollment Patterns
What does the student enrollment by gender, race and ethnicity look like in your higher-level math and AP courses? Does the enrollment in each section reflect what your school looks like overall? For example, if your total school population is 40% Latino, 30% African-American, 20% Asian, and 10% White, do you find in an English AP class of 20 students that 8 are Latino, 6 are African-American, 4 Asian and 2 White?

Academy courses vs. “a-g” requirements
Many high schools are now organized as small schools, schools-within-schools, career academies and SLC's. Many of these small schools center around career skills and heavily utitlize career-technical education courses. Because of the unique requirements of these schools, course conflicts can occur that were less likely in a traditional high school setting. Be sure to look carefully to observe whether students have to give up “a-g” options to participate in career academies or SLC’s. One way to avoid this is to create courses that fit into a career-focused curriculum and also qualify for "a-g." Over 5,000 of such courses, in all subject areas, have already been approved.  While California Partnership Academies help lead to employment in the field, they need not eliminate college going options.  College also helps lead to employment, and many college programs have a career orientation.


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Last modified on 9/10/2009