Robust, Rigorous Courses & Materials

We must believe that every child has the ability to succeed.

Students from low-income communities in California are less likely to make it from 9th grade to college graduation than their peers. This is because they often haveless access to rigorous college- and career-prep courses, AP classes, dual enrollment opportunities, and robust electives such as computer science or the arts

Students from low-income communities also face learning barriers in the classroom. Educators are more likely to hold deficit beliefs about students from diverse economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds whichcan negatively affect their curiosity, development of skills, confidence, and habits of mind that, in turn limit their ability to succeed in college and career. 

To combat this, we must increase access to college-aligned, rigorous courses and improve pathways to college and career opportunities for students from low-income communities. We must also provide teachers with standards-aligned, High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) and implementation training, which research shows will impact the quality of instruction and student achievement

Why It Matters

Preparing students for 21st-century jobs

It is estimated that by 2031, 72% of jobs will require more than a high school degree. . Yet, only half of students from low-income communities (53%) in California enroll in college within a year of high school graduation. Many factors impact college-going, like access to rigorous, college-aligned coursework, financial aid, and other college preparation resources. 

It is essential that all students in California are equipped with the skills, resources, and confidence to pursue the postsecondary pathways of their choice.


Overview of Policy Recommendations

  • All students from low-income communities, including those with learning and language gaps, have equitable access to foundational core classes that are guided by up-to-date, grade-level standards 
  • High schools are (re)designed to prepare students from low-income communities for multiple pathways to postsecondary programs and career opportunities
  • All students from low-income communities have equitable access to evidence-based, High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) that are aligned to rigorous standards and frameworks
  • Require all comprehensive support and improvement (CSI) schools and high-needs schools that are receiving state-sponsored differentiated assistance (DA) to only use instructional materials for core classes that have been externally rated as meeting standards for high-quality 


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