Graduation standards revoked

The Associated Press
Friday October 27, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Board of Education has voted to drop tough graduation requirements for the high school class of 2001 after learning that 30 percent of the city’s seniors failed to meet the requirements. 

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to rescind the tougher requirements and deflected blame from the students to themselves. 

“We didn’t provide the resources,” said board member Jill Wynns. “We had trouble providing the classes needed.” 

The board acknowledged there were not enough tutors or extra-period classes to support the students. 

In 1997, the board nixed electives such as wood shop and journalism, electing to raise academic standards by requiring more math, English, science, arts and foreign language courses. The board also raised graduation requirements from 220 to 240 credits. 

At the time, the board anticipated the state would pay for programs to support programs such as a longer school day for extra courses and tutoring, but such reimbursement never was approved. 

The class of 2001, the first to matriculate under the tough standards, was left scrambling for credits and nearly a third of the 1,120 high school seniors were not on track to graduate with their class. 

A new, long-term plan for graduation requirements is to be presented to the school board by February.