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Phil Matier: California College-Prep Course Successes Overstated

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The highly-touted plan to have every student in the San Jose Unified School District pass the classes required for University of California or California State University admission is apparently not the success a lot of people thought it was.

The Los Angeles Times has reviewed data from San Jose Unified and finds that essentially, nothing has changed, despite rosy reports from the school district about the program’s success.

Those positive reports helped fuel a push for similar programs in other big school districts, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

But the LA Times now says San Jose Unified officials acknowledge they overstated the success of the “Everyone’s Ready for College” program. In 2000, before the program started, 40% of San Jose Unified grads had passed those college-prep courses. By 2011, it was about the same: 40.3%.

It turns out there were a couple of loopholes for San Jose Unified students: they could pass the college prep classes with a “D” while the universities require at least a “C” grade. And, if they were failing the tougher classes, they could transfer to an alternative high school and pile up credits through a process known as “credit recovery.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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