The kids who enter Oakland high schools this fall will need to complete the UC/CSU `a to g’ course requirements to graduate in 2015. A major shift, considering that less than half of the district’s 2009 grads had done so.
But a survey by Californians For Justice found that nearly 1 in 4 of students at Oakland High School didn’t know about those requirements, and that 30 percent had never met one-on-one with a counselor. A counselor quoted in the report, “No Knowledge, No College: Oakland Students Rising to the Challenge,” said there were four counselors for more than 1,800 students.
One section mentions a need for “additional staff support,” especially during high-volume times of the year. But the three student proposals don’t include hiring more counselors, or even preserving the number of counselors currently working in OUSD. Instead, they recommend peer-to-peer counseling, transcript reviews, having counselors give classroom presentations about `a to g,’ adding questions about college and career to the counselors’ appointment request form, launching a Facebook page and poster contest on the subject, and training teachers on the requirements.
Are those kinds of things in place at other high schools in the East Bay? What else is — or should be — happening at high schools to prepare for the new graduation requirements? Do you think OUSD can make the switch smoothly with the number of counselors it has (or less, if the district eliminates up to nine full-time counseling positions)?