Numerous complaints as CSU proposes tougher admission standards

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

California State University officials want to require high school students to take an extra math, science or computer class to qualify for admission, a proposal that critics say will harm low-income students of color.

Beginning in 2026, the university is proposing that high school students who want to attend one of the 23 CSU campuses have to take an extra class that counts as “quantitative reasoning,” meaning that it gets kids thinking about numbers.

But critics say too many students are stuck in schools where they don’t even have the chance to take the courses currently required, much less another one.

“We totally believe the students are capable of doing better. But there are huge shortages of math and science teachers, especially in low-income schools and schools serving students of color,” said Elisha Smith Arrillaga, executive director of the Education Trust-West, a nonprofit education advocacy group based in Oakland.

She and dozens of other critics plan to testify against the proposal Thursday at a special meeting of the CSU Board of Trustees at its headquarters in Long Beach.

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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.