Graduating from San Diego Unified could get a little harder: School district staff will soon recommend that San Diego Unified gradually increase the number of credits required to graduate from 44 to 48, including new requirements for career readiness classes.

The proposed changes are part of a push to help more students graduate with the classes and grades needed to apply to the University of California and California State University colleges, something the school board first committed to do a year and a half ago.

For instance, one of the recommendations is that students have to take two years of the same foreign language, something that the colleges require. Right now, a student can graduate with either a year of foreign language or none at all if they take visual or performing arts classes instead.

The idea is bound to be controversial; I’ve already heard from several parents alarmed by the idea. Their fear is that ramping up the requirements will stop more students from graduating.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that San Diego Unified still offers an alternative diploma, one that is much easier to get. And the draft proposal calls for a plan on which students would get waivers on requirements and how.

The proposal also includes a long list of other changes to help more students successfully pass the classes, including “bridge” programs from middle to high school. Depending on what the school board decides to do, the changes could cost anywhere from zilch to $16 million.

The school board will hear the ideas at 9 a.m. Tuesday, but it is not slated to vote on any proposals. Assistant Superintendent Sid Salazar said this is just the beginning of the conversation.

Please contact Emily Alpert directly at emily.alpert@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter: twitter.com/emilyschoolsyou.

Emily Alpert

Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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