EDITORIAL: LAUSD and UCs, Two Shortsighted Approaches on Education

By EGP Editorial

The University of California has offered enrollment to 43 percent more out of state and foreign students for the 2012-2013 Academic School Year.

UC officials said this week that they expect non-Californians to account for more than 12.3 percent of the students enrolled in a UC school next fall.

They also say that a record number of students from California, 61,443, were offered admission to one of the state funded college system’s nine undergraduate campuses, an increase of 3.6 percent from last year.

UC officials cite less funding from Sacramento as the reason they will allow more out-of-state and foreign students to attend a UC school. The higher tuition those students pay will help offset some of their anticipated budget shortfall, they claim.

But their shortsighted solution could potentially have long-term negative consequences.

California, even in bad times, is still a draw to people wanting to live here. The 18, 846 non-resident students who are expected to attend a UC school, will probably wind up competing for professional jobs here in California: Jobs that our taxpayer-funded schools of higher learning should have trained California residents for.

Couple this with the information that the LAUSD is contemplating lowering its graduation standards for its high school students, possibly allowing students to pass college prep classes with a grade of D — in order to avoid a massive increase in the dropout rate due to higher standards passed by the Board passed eight years ago — and it becomes clear that we are still headed down a path of mediocrity when it comes to preparing our residents for the global workplace.

After years of demanding that the school district improve its preparation of students for college by requiring them to take so-called A-G college prep classes, we are now considering letting them pass those classes with a D, even though Cal State and UC schools won’t accept less than a C in those classes for admission.

We don’t necessarily believe every high graduate needs to attend a four-year university since there are many highly technical and skilled jobs that do not require a college degree. But now, the LAUSD is even considering eliminating the electives that help prepare students for technology-based careers.

We don’t get it.

Having fewer and fewer LAUSD students able to meet the C requirement for college entry and others denied the opportunity to study technology, we foresee a very dim future for many of California’s young people, especially minority and ethnic high school graduates, and a UC system whose student bodies will be made up of outsiders.

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April 19, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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