Former Washington Prep High School student, Candice Johnson, shares her experiences attending a high school with large numbers of intern teachers.

“I am a graduate of Washington Prep High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. My school is the kind of school the No Child Left Behind Act was supposed to ‘fix.’ It’s one of California’s lowest-performing schools. Forty percent of my freshman-year classmates didn’t graduate. The student body is also mostly low-income, and a majority of the students are African-American, like me, or Latino. There were only a handful of white students in the entire school of 2,000 when I graduated a year ago.”

Her article sheds light on the importance of parents and students of ensuring that students are learning what they need to know. There are clearly huge inequities between high- and low-performing, and oftentimes urban and suburban schools. Candice is one of millions of students attending schools where they are taught by new, inexperienced, and intern teachers. Worst, is when such teachers are teaching math and science, the two subjects that are the clearest predictor of college success. While the issue is being debated, parents and students need to ensure that students identify tutors, create study groups, and formulate their own plans to learn what they need in order to prepare for college.

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