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POLITICS/EDUCATION: LAUSD, approval, plan to require grade of D or better in college-prep courses starting in the fall, then raising minimum requirement to a C for class of 2017....

* Los Angeles Times:  "All L.A. Unified students must pass college-prep courses" - "The Los Angeles Board of Education votes to require grades of D or better in college-prep classes starting with incoming ninth-graders in the fall, raising requirements to a C for the class of 2017." - From the LAT:

   The Los Angeles Unified School District will require all students to pass a college-preparatory curriculum beginning next fall. The Class of 2016, next year's ninth-graders, will be the first in the nation's second-largest school system who must take those courses needed to apply to a four-year state university. The Board of Education approved a proposal Tuesday that also allows the students to pass those classes with a D — rather than the C needed for admission to either a Cal State or UC school.

    The new requirements are necessary whether students go directly to college or to a job, L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy said. "This is all about a kid's civil rights," Deasy said in an interview. "This is responding to the demands of the community for a meaningful, robust diploma. This is about making sure kids are competitive in the workforce. . . . . . . .


    In 2005, the school board agreed to the more rigorous graduation requirements for the Class of 2016. But the wording did not specify what grade students would need. Some activists as well as some former board members and district staff said the intent was to require a minimum of a C.

    The plan approved Tuesday calls for phasing in a requirement that students earn a C or better in college-prep classes, starting with the Class of 2017. Officials asserted that no school system in California has ever required all graduates to earn a C or better in a college-prep curriculum.


    Some critics said the plan could drive up the dropout rate. Others said the proposal was a poorly developed, overly hasty attempt to make up for years of inaction.

    Also Tuesday, the board overruled a key provision of the proposal that sought to reduce the total number of course units needed to graduate to 180 from 230. It would have eliminated most requirements to take electives. Instead, the board reduced the required credits to 210 . . . . . . . . .


   Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, the only holdover from 2005, voted no then and remained a skeptic. She cast a dissenting vote this time along with Bennett Kayser...............