L.A. Unified’s College-Prep Push Is Based on False Data

Howard Blume and Sarah Butrymowicz, Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2013

Eleven years ago, the San Jose school district began requiring all students to pass the classes necessary for admission to the state university systems. Educators elsewhere watched with enthusiasm as early results showed remarkable success.

But San Jose Unified has quietly acknowledged that the district overstated its accomplishments. And a Times analysis of the district’s record shows that its progress has not, in fact, far outpaced many other school systems’ and, more important, that most San Jose students have never qualified to apply to a state college.

Those results should raise warning flags for other school systems, including Los Angeles Unified, that based key policy decisions on San Jose’s misreported data. {snip}

In 2000, before the college-prep program took effect, 40% of San Jose graduates fulfilled requirements for applying to University of California and Cal State University. In 2011, the number was 40.3%. Latino and black students have done worse. Among those who entered high school in fall 2007, about 1 in 5 black and Latino students were eligible to apply to a state college four years later.

Students could graduate without fulfilling college-prep requirements because of two escape hatches: Students were allowed to get only a D in these classes, whereas the state colleges demand a grade of C or better to be eligible. And students who are failing the rigorous classes could transfer to alternative schools and graduate from there.

About 15% of traditional high school students in San Jose Unified don’t finish the college-prep sequence, primarily because of credit deficiencies, according to the district. Some—mostly minority students—transfer to an alternative school as early as 10th grade.

A notable difference was visible last spring at two graduation ceremonies in San Jose’s Rose Garden.

In the afternoon, seniors from Leland High School gave speeches about college and the world beyond, of curing cancer or pursuing world peace. They talked about the robotics club, the debate team presidential awards and National Merit Scholars.

The school’s enrollment is 85% white and Asian; less than 8% of students are from low-income families.

Earlier that day, at a more sparsely attended affair, the district held its alternative education graduation for 304 mostly Latino students who had transferred out of traditional high schools. Students spoke about overcoming tough times and thanked those who believed in them.

Compared with its traditional high schools, San Jose’s alternative programs enroll nearly 50% more Latinos.

The ethnic imbalance is ironic given that San Jose’s college-prep program grew out of concern that far too many Latino students, the largest group in the district, were not on track for college.


The San Jose class of 2002 was the first required to take the minimum college-prep workload and pass each class with at least a D.

For six years, the district misreported its results, counting seniors who were close to completing the college-prep requirements as having done so. San Jose claimed that the percentage of graduates who got at least a C in all these classes rose to nearly two-thirds from just over a third. The rate for Latino students rose to nearly 50% from 18.5%, and for black students to more than 50% from 27%, the district incorrectly reported.

After the district corrected its errors, the district reported only incremental progress that was comparable to school systems without the requirements. Of that class of 2011, a little more than a third completed the college-prep sequence.

Activists and educators elsewhere had used the inflated results to pressure their school districts to follow suit. Supporters saw the move as a way to reverse low expectations that had excluded or simply dissuaded generations of black and Latino students from pursuing college. Similar efforts have been underway in other states.

In 2005, L.A. Unified passed a college-prep mandate that’s being phased in over eight years. To graduate, this year’s freshmen will, for the first time, have to pass the minimum number of college-prep classes with a D or better. Next year’s ninth-graders must earn a C or better.

If that policy were applied to San Jose’s current results, only about a quarter of its black and Latino graduates would earn a diploma by the end of their senior year, the Times analysis found.

In L.A. Unified, about 83% of students are black or Latino. Last year, about 20% of L.A. Unified high school students completed the college-prep requirements within four years.


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  • bigone4u

    So an educational ponzi scheme is exposed, which by itself is a miracle. But missing from the story is how many of the so-called educators will be criminally charged for falsifying the data.
    BTW, I’ve witnessed this sort of thing myself. When administrators don’t like the data they make it up. It keeps the money flowing in.

  • Annis Isbell

    I wonder how many non Whites are in the country illegally and yet attend our schools.

  • Tim

    “Misreported data”- My egg head older brother was one of the nations top experts on mosquito and other infestations of a parasitic nature. He was urgently called to a national conference at a Holiday Inn in the Midwest with others of his type. They had been correlating rain fall data with egg and larvae hatchings. Seems there was an explosion in the insect realm and they needed an answer now!! After a week of speculation and theory advancement, they discovered quite by accident that the Army GI`s assigned to read the rainfall gauges were in “lockdown” back at the barracks, smoking weed and filling in their assigned charts with random numbers…My brother wailed, “Why would they lie?!?” And I laughed, “Why wouldn`t they?”…

  • panjoomby

    “ethnic imbalance” = decline of western civilization.

  • A Multiracial Individual

    As per usual, no mention that Asians do better in school than Whites, Hispanics, and African-Americans

    • Katherine McChesney

      And Whites do much better than Hispanics and blacks.

      Are you an anti-White? Sounds so. If you’re going to refer to the several races at least you could be consistent. If you refer to blacks as African-Americans then you should refer to the others properly. Latin American, European American, Asian American.

      If you do otherwise, you are a racist.

      • A Multiracial Individual

        Which list would you prefer?
        1. European-American, Latin-American, Asian-American, African-American
        2. White, Hispanic, Asian (yellow), Black

        I never said that Whites do not perform better in schools than Blacks and Hispanics did I? What is so anti-white about my comment?

      • A Multiracial Individual

        I apologize for the asymmetry, Blacks. To answer your question, no, I do not have any animosity toward Whites.

    • A White Individual

      Nice trolling on a White website, “multiracial”.

      Asians are completely irrelevant as they neither built America nor established the American education public system. Most are nothing but recent immigrants who came long after 1965 and who are only here to profit from OUR country.

      Asians are also well known cheaters and ROTE students who have zero public and leadership skills as well as no independent social life outside school and their families.

      Studying for the test might result with better grades, but it has certainly proved time and time again that it leads nowhere in the workplace where asians are again nowhere to be seen in leadership and innovations.

      Sorry, but asians are not Americans, and americans are not asians.

      • JohnEngelman

        Hundreds of studies on millions of people show a three way pattern. IQ tests are often made to have an average score of 100, with a “normal” range from 85 to 115. Whites average from 100 to 103. Orientals in Asia and the U.S. tend to have higher scores, about 106, even though IQ tests were made for use in the Euro-American culture.

        – Professor J. Philippe Rushton, from “RACE, EVOLUTION, AND BEHAVIOR,”

        Professor Rushton spoke at six American Renaissance conferences. I love to keep pointing that out.

        Millions of Asians are American citizens. These are just as American as those whose ancestors came over with the Mayflower, who lived at Jamestown, and who signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

        In addition to having higher average intelligence than whites, Orientals have lower rates of crime and illegitimacy.

        • Katherine McChesney

          ‘These are just as American as those whose ancestors came over with the
          Mayflower, who lived at Jamestown, and who signed the Declaration of
          Independence and the U.S. Constitution.’

          They are in NO way similar. Your comment is ‘stupid’. Asians came here centuries after all the difficult work had been completed. They are not equal to our forefathers.

          • JohnEngelman

            Developing a lightly inhabited country rich in natural resources and defeating and often annihilating stone age tribesmen was not difficult at all.

          • The__Bobster

            You may have posted here for that long, but I can guarantee that all of your anti-White comments were met with derision.

        • Mark

          There you go again Mr. JohnEngelman. I have to admit that I am getting a bit sick and tired of your “arguments”.
          As a Boeing engineer working on the 787 program for 7 years I’ve worked with a lot of Japanese, Koreans et al. They are not nearly as brilliant as you think. Majority of my work consisted of redoing and correcting their design work done in Asia. They are the main reason the entire program was 4 years late and, as you have probably heard, still having a lot of problems.
          Chinese are even worse as they are engaging in industrial espionage by stealing our (White American) technology as they are not capable of inventing anything. Please don’t bring up the gun powder and the fireworks, that was centuries ago and they haven’t done much since.
          The point I am making is that it takes more than just a high IQ to advance and improve a civilization. That extra ingredient is what puts the White Race above Asians.

          • JohnEngelman


            If what you say is true, why are most consumer electronics products sold in the United States built in Japan? Why do the Japanese generally produce better cars than Americans?

          • MikeofAges

            Iohn, I was there. In San Jose in the 1970s. Our government and corporate elites let the consumer electronics industry go. Same for many other industries. Unfair trade and illegal monopolistic practices were a big part of it.

          • JohnEngelman


            I have nothing good to say about the corporate elite. The government made mistakes. Nevertheless, the Japanese were and are making better products.

            I am old enough to remember when “Made in Japan” was a joke. Something made in Japan was a cheap toy that would break in a few days.

            When the Japanese started selling Honda motor cycles in the United States the laughter died down. When they started selling Sony televisions and Toyota cars the laughter stopped.

          • JohnEngelman


            I have nothing good to say about the corporate elite. The government made mistakes. Nevertheless, the Japanese were and are making better products.

            I am old enough to remember when “Made in Japan” was a joke. Something made in Japan was a cheap toy that would break in a few days.

            When the Japanese started selling Honda motor cycles in the United States the laughter died down. When they started selling Sony televisions and Toyota cars the laughter stopped.

          • Mark

            I never said that Asians were stupid. The Japanese and the Koreans are very good at copying and improving upon the existing design.
            Furthermore, they don’t have to deal with the labor unions and inflated wages, thus making their products a lot cheaper. American masses only care about the price.

          • JohnEngelman

            South Korea and Japan do have labor unions. There is less economic inequality in those countries than in the United States.


            In the United States when labor unions were strong and when blue collar pay checks bought more American industry thrived. That was because blue collar workers could afford to buy what they produced.

          • Mark

            “less economic inequality”
            Now you sound like a Marxist.
            Yes, they do have unions but they are not nearly as strong as American unions.
            As an engineer with a masters degree, back in my automotive days, i made not much more than a blue collar worker with a high school education. Do you think that’s fair?

          • JohnEngelman

            Consumer reports has a list of the thirty best new cars for under $25,000. Of these two are American, one is German, the rest are Japanese or Korean.


          • Mark

            You forgot to mention that the two top spots are taken by the American cars.

          • JohnEngelman


          • MikeofAges

            And worse yet, they tried make it look like it was the fault of the Italians, Spanish and French.

          • Mark

            They didn’t. The main sections of the aircraft are made by the Japanese and the Koreans.

        • The__Bobster

          Go back to your Chinese mistress and tell her you’ve done her good deed for the day.

    • MikeofAges

      Question for you, “Multiracial”. If we treated whites, Hispanics and black alike as disadvantaged and made serious efforts to help all prepare for and succeed in science, engineering and other aspects of technology, which group would yield the best results? In case you miss my point, policies and programs which hold whites back or fail to make an attempt to reach and include them in the first place are exactly that, programs which hold whites back and fail to reach and include them. Who created modern industry and high technology anyway?

    • Joseph

      You’ve mistaken this “AR” for the “Asian Renaissance” website. I think John Engelman can probably send you a link.

      • A Multiracial Individual

        I apologize for my transgression. I forgot that when one speaks about how Whites tend to do better in school than Blacks and Hispanics, they are just speaking honestly about racial issues. However, when someone points out that Asians tend to outperform Whites in school they are just a weirdo with an Asian fetish.

      • A Multiracial Individual

        Did you find my generalizations about education in this country inaccurate?

  • “,,,watched with enthusiasm as early results showed remarkable success.”
    I know I repeat myself a lot on this board but it ‘s only because I see the same story with the same results.
    Whenever you hear about a new minority program with “remarkable” results, make a note of it because you can be sure in a few years, you’re going to read that the “remarkable” results were noting but exaggerations, cheating, and lies. Same story, same reults.

    • Joseph

      If they don’t torch the buildings with the teachers inside it is “remarkable” so you have to know how they define the terms.

    • John

      The entire United States is based on “false data” from gerrymandering, to affirmative action, to race-based admissions, to the race card, to hiring quotas, to always giving Blacks and Browns the benefit of the doubt coupled with a lower set of standards that White children have been shown to easily master.
      Blacks and Mestizos are two groups that are in the perpetual custodial care of the government.

      • The__Bobster

        The stubbies are relative newcomers, but they’ve learned how to play the game.

  • Barrack Osama

    50 years. Trillions of dollars. It never has, and never will, work.

  • the virginian

    Is it possible that we have it all wrong from 500 years ago and African tribal chiefs were behind the PR sales gimmick to push and sell off their weakest sorriest inferior rejects to the conned white European beginning with Spain and then England France etc?

    Could it be possible that African tribal chiefs somehow sent sale agents to Europe upon learning the western hemisphere was opened and that white on white slavery had ended and seized on the opportunity to hawk their rejects to the dupped white race for special deals and clearly African slaves were auctioned on the market in after shipping to RI ports and processed and transported to 100s or 1000s of small towns and communities where they were bid for on the squares making a mint of 100 times markup? Were the European heb Rothchildes behind all this as is reported in many publications?

    We are also aware that one big selling point whether it was legit or not with the elite white buyers was the Ham race verse of slavery in the Torah and oddly enough no red mongoloid ex-Asian migrants who were conquered by the white shem race Europeans, were ever used as slaves since this middle race of Japhetites or middle son are not slaves in the Torah. Wouldnt it have just been easier to make the savage wild pagan murdering Japheth red mongoloid Asian migrants who called themselves aztecs, myans, incans, indians, etc, as slaves who were already in the west as opposed to getting the Hamites and millions in more expenses and danger?

    We do know that unquestionably the worst catastrophic genetic collosus mistake ever made by the white chrisitian blessed chosen Shem caucaoid race was getting sucking into the massive lie and con of these African Hamite race negroid slave rejects. We know they were rejects because there were no zulu or pgymie or other stronger gene negroid African Hamites ever taken to the west as slaves that was a clear indication the tribal chiefs outsmarted the western whites or maybe in cahoots with the Rothchildes.

    Bottom line is as crazy as it all sounds, there was a clear premeditated orchestrated conspiracy to kill 2 birds with one stone over 500 yrs when the concept of African slavery was first derived or created.

    • MikeofAges

      Maybe everything in world history is premeditated. A lot of things make more sense when you look at them from a “top down” point of view. Why not slavery, on both sides of the trade. One thing we do know is that on our side of the trade, it wasn’t the common man who created slavery or encouraged its expansion.

  • I attended a public high school in upstate NY nearly 60 years ago. For over 100 years public high schools in the state of NY have had a two-track system–regents diploma and local diploma. For the regents diploma one had to take state exams in all of the major subjects. A regents diploma virtually guaranteed admission to a state university–as well as many private colleges; some of our teachers referred to the local diploma as an attendance certificate. Although I suppose political correctness has watered down the difference between the regents and local diploma, I suspect this type of system is what is needed in all public high schools.

    I remember once, after I moved to Chicago over 40 years ago, I was talking to a teach in the CPS. We got on the subject of the regents exams, which she was familiar with from the review books used in math courses. She said, “They can only be used with really advanced students.” I replied, “No, that is what we all took if we expected to go to college.” I don’t think she believed me. But, if you give the kids the standards, and the proper support, they will meet the challenge–no matter what their race and ethnicity.

  • shattered2012

    California schools tumbled from first in the nation to 3rd from the bottom in a nation that fell from first in the world to the world’s average for public education despite more than twice as much spent per pupil in real dollars today than when California was first in a nation that was first in the world. Really, what else is there to say?

  • JohnEngelman

    Efforts to improve academic performance always run into the ceiling of innate limitations.

  • Bill

    When did college graduation become the end all/be all for absolutely everybody in the United States? Like anything else, taking ability alone, some should go, many should not. But Obama and the liberals seem to think absolutely everybody should go. Even those who in fact aren’t quite intelligent enough to finish high school without buggered test results and lies on achievement. IF we had the country we used to have, there would be MANY very good paying jobs in the blue collar fields and in industries. Many good jobs in the trades, and in service oriented work. Industrial jobs are long gone. They have been outsourced and off shore, or they have gone under due to foreign competition using low payed “company store” type foreign labor. As for the rest of the middle class jobs including service jobs, trades, and blue collar – they are being filled by the flood of third world illegals sneaking across our borders – or the employers have gone under due to ever increasing demands and taxes on them by the federal government funding employable blacks. NOW, they are talking about amnesty. And guess what. The labor unions are SUPPORTING the amnesty drive. If any folks out there think the unions still work for YOU, or give a crap about you, you are blind, deaf and dumb. They haven’t been working for you for decades. They were silent during the off shore transfers of jobs two or three decades ago. They were silent a decade or two ago about the flood of cheap, illegal, dumb as a bag of hammers slave labor taking middle class and trades jobs. And now they endorse both amnesty and a second massive violation of the Second Amendment, as well as endorsing the pretender in office who is transforming us into a marxist/socialist nightmare. Let me predict something: our “leaders” now talk about stapling a green card to very college diploma and providing a fast track to jobs. YOUR JOBS. Jobs college graduates seek and serve in. How long do you think it will be before the last jobs available to citizens, jobs requiring college degrees, disappear due to affirmative action and granting preference to aliens – legal and illegal – for THOSE jobs????? WAKE UP AMERICA.