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San Diego Unified is poised to make its graduation requirements match the classes needed to get into the University of California system, under a proposal to be decided by the school board next Tuesday.

Doing so has been a social justice crusade among reformers who say that too many teenagers are shut out of the system and ill prepared for college or the workforce because schools are not sufficiently rigorous. The University of California requirements, commonly known as the A-G sequence, include math, science, English, social sciences, foreign language and the arts, and all the classes must be approved by the university system.

“This is a new economy and we need to be better preparing our workforce,” said Andrea Guerrero, chairwoman of the Education Consortium, a group of organizations that back the idea and is rallying at the school board meeting Tuesday. She is also field and policy director for the regional chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. “It is not just about college. It is about being prepared for the 21st century workforce.”

Not all schools offer the same number of approved classes, and many school districts have lower requirements for their diplomas. Seven school districts surveyed by voiceofsandiego.org in October set lower requirements for foreign language and the arts or combined them. San Diego Unified estimates that only 40 percent of its graduates currently complete the University of California requirements.

Guerrero said San Diego Unified would be the first school district in the county to adopt the requirements. San Jose schools were the first to do so statewide.

EMILY ALPERT

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