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August 24, 2010 > Avanzando addresses Newark School Board

Avanzando addresses Newark School Board

Submitted By Terry Roderick Alderete

Avanzando is a coalition of engaged and committed individuals interested in advancing and empowering Latino youth, families and community in Newark. On August 17, Vivien Larsen, President of Avanzando, introduced to the Newark Unified School Board of Education, a proposal to "Implement a Rigorous Curriculum for All - The A-G Curriculum for Graduation." Board members received copies of the proposal and will take it under review and consideration.

"It is imperative that we commit to promote a 'college-going culture' by providing access for all students to a rigorous core curriculum for all," stated Larsen.

The organization believes that all students should graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in life after high school. It recommended to the Newark Board of Education the adoption of a rigorous curriculum at Newark Memorial High School that will prepare all students for college and careers. Avanzando proposed a change that would make UC/CSU minimum admission requirements the new graduation high school requirement.

Several members of Avanzando shared their perspective on why it is critical to implement the A-G Curriculum as the standard for graduation. Rick Arellano, a technology professor at Ohlone College, shared that 80 percent of incoming freshmen are not prepared at college-level and take three to four semesters to catch up.

Parents Olga Borjon and Guadalupe Lopez shared their personal experience on how the system of tracking and the wrong mix of classes affected theirs and other children's ability to be adequately prepared for college.

Terry Alderete addressed the need for businesses and corporations to have an educated workforce prepared to meet the need of employers, educated and trained in the sciences, math, technology, and engineering. "If we start when they are young, creating higher expectations in math and sciences, they will rise to those higher standards and be prepared to meet the new requirements necessary to graduate from high school. Once the U.S. was number one in young adult graduates globally; in a few years we've fallen to number 12."

California's schools must rise to the challenge and provide all students with the skills they'll need in order to have real post-secondary choices. That means they'll need to learn Algebra I and II, geometry, data analysis, and statistics, as well as needing strong reading, writing, comprehension, and reasoning skills. More and more, it means foreign language, too. And if students want to go to one of California's four-year public colleges and universities, it means a sequence of courses called the A-G Curriculum. But, A-G isn't just for college bound students. All young people need it, for success in and after high school.

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