I received the following letter template intended to be signed by individual educators, and institutions in the educational field, then sent to various boards of education in our state who do not presently require an “A-G Curriculum.” While I applaud this effort, and believe the default curriculum in high schools in our state should be the “A-G Requirements,” I believe students should be allowed to “opt-out” of this sequence in their Junior or Senior years, maybe even Sophomore year, if they do not wish to pursue a college prep route, and staying in the “A-G” sequence could jeopardize their ability to graduate; this requires parental consent, of course, and repeated education of parents / guardians to ensure they understand the consequences. I believe my approach addresses the primary concern, today, that students who decide they do wish to go to college later in high school are prepared to proceed with completing “A-G” and those who do not wish to proceed on that path, can select one that is more appropriate for them, such as pre-requisites for community college or even a career and technical education path – what used to be called a “vocational path” before it became anathema to progressive reformers. Call me old-fashioned, but I simply do not believe a “one size shoe fits all” approach is appropriate for any person, at either end of the spectrum, or worse yet, for all.
Is an “A-G Requirements-only Curriculum” beneficial to all students? And hence, should be mandatory for all, with no exceptions? What about the impact on those who do not wish to go to college or who might not be able to pass if this curriculum is the only option available? Is this fair and equitable?
What do you think?
NB: After making this post, I noticed another article online. The link below contains the article that mentions many districts already have the “opt-out” mechanism I suggested above. It also contains a table listing the “A-G Requirements.”
Dear President [ ] and Trustees:
I write to urge your support of adopting the “A-G Curriculum” as the default curriculum for the [ ] High School District.
In addition to receiving a high-quality education, every student deserves the opportunity to be on the path for successfully qualifying for a four-year university upon graduation from high school. While every student may not choose to go to a four-year university or community college, we should not let the minimum course requirements dictate a student’s future academic career.
All across our great state, too many students decide they want to go to college in their Junior and Senior years only to find out that they have not taken the appropriate prerequisite courses to qualify for the minimum standards for our state’s universities. Due to no fault of their own, these students will be forced to make other plans for their near term future.
While some students will not choose to go to college, or will want to choose a vocational path immediately out of high school, those decisions are best left to the individual students and their families—not our school’s minimum standards. Additionally, students will benefit from the more rigorous science and mathematic requirements in the A-G programs if they choose a vocational path as more trades are relying on technology and mathematics at every job level.
I believe that if we challenge our students to aim higher, they will rise to the challenge. By adopting the A-G curriculum you will send the message to each and every student and family that you believe that if they work hard, they can achieve the high standards of our university systems and attend college if that is their desire.
I greatly appreciate your consideration of this issue.