Categories: Op-Ed

SFUSD prepares students for college

In these days of breathless news cycles and attention-getting tweets, sometimes the quiet, steady work we do in our schools gets buried.

Today I’m going to share with you some news that I’m very proud of: More of our students are graduating prepared for college and careers than ever before.

And this is not by accident. It is the result of very intentional work on the part of our educators matched by effort and persistence on the part of our students.

Don’t just take my word for it. Recently, the California State Auditor released a report showing that the San Francisco Unified School District’s college preparatory completion rates are not only impressive — but suggested that our strategies should be enlightening to policy makers and replicated by other school districts.

The auditor pointed to the fact that, in 2014, SFUSD started requiring all graduates to have completed the minimum coursework requirements necessary for admission to University of California and California State University schools.

What was audited

Over the last year, SFUSD and two other large school districts were audited by the California State Auditor regarding student access to (and completion of) college preparatory coursework. Commonly known as “a-g” courses, these classes are needed for admission to California’s public university system.

The auditor checked our work from 2013 through 2015.

How we increased graduation rates while raising the bar

In all, SFUSD was recognized for using a variety of tools that contributed to high course completion rates.

We use our data to identify students who have fallen off track and then provide timely help for them. School counselors then meet with them — and parents — about their-off track status to develop and monitor a plan to get back on track.

We offer students several credit recovery options, including summer school, evening school, online learning and Saturday school. We also provide mini-grants for schools to support a variety of ways they can address the needs of their students.

Courses need UC approval

Also, because the University of California has to approve every a-g course we offer, we have a great system to manage and track our a-g course certification process. According to UC, these courses must be academically challenging, involving substantial reading, writing, problems and laboratory work (as appropriate), and show serious attention to analytical thinking, factual content and developing students’ oral and listening skills.

So, there’s nothing flashy to report here; we’re just doing what’s needed to help students graduate from high school college- and career-ready.

Will this news grab the next national 24-hour news cycle? Probably not. But it’s big news here in our classrooms and departments, and I couldn’t be more proud of the people at SFUSD who are making it happen.

Myong Leigh is interim superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Myong Leigh
Published by
Myong Leigh

Recent Posts

SF prosecutors accuse public defender of impropriety in murder case

San Francisco prosecutors on Monday alleged Public Defender Jeff Adachi may have committed a misdemeanor when he interviewed four grand…

17 mins ago

Weekend collisions leave scooter rider, pedestrian with life-threatening injuries

Two people suffered life-threatening injuries in separate traffic collisions this weekend in San Francisco, police said. The first collision occurred…

57 mins ago

Warriors, Bob Myers optimistic they will re-sign Patrick McCaw

OAKLAND -- The Golden State Warriors kicked off the 2018-19 season at media day on Monday, and there was one…

2 hours ago

Muni delays make politicos late to Transit Week event

With a latte from Caffe Trieste in one hand and a bus handle bar in the other, Supervisor Aaron Peskin…

2 hours ago

San Francisco 49ers officially announce that Jimmy Garoppolo tore ACl against Kansas City

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has officially sustained an ACL tear, the team announced shortly after noon on Monday.…

3 hours ago

Golden State Warriors announce staff promotions, including Nick Kerr

OAKLAND -- Ahead of Monday's official media day, the Golden State Warriors announced a slew of promotions throughout the organization,…

4 hours ago