CSU leaders appear ready to move forward with requiring extra year of high school math despite concerns

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Source: EdSource

California State University leaders signaled Wednesday they will move forward with a controversial plan to require a fourth year of high school math for freshman admissions — despite opposition from civil rights organizations, education groups and state leaders.

During a CSU trustee meeting Wednesday at the system’s headquarters in Long Beach, opponents reiterated concerns they have voiced for months: that CSU has not provided sufficient evidence showing the change is necessary to improve student achievement and that the change would make it harder for black, Latino and low-income students to attend the 23-campus CSU.

The 74 reported Monday that fewer than 25 percent of seniors at LA Unified in the 2018-19 school year took a math or quantitative reasoning course, the type of course that would be required under the CSU proposal. Under the current CSU admission requirements, 46 percent of graduating LA Unified students were eligible in 2018-19, according to district data. About three-quarters of LA Unified students are Latino and more than 80 percent qualify for free- or reduced-price meals.

Elisha Smith Arrillaga, executive director of The Education Trust-West, said in an interview with EdSource that the report from The 74 is further evidence that the proposal is a “threat to equity.”

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.