AB 705 mandates transfer math courses to be finished in the same year
By Jonathan Bermudez
Students of East Los Angeles College are dropping out of math classes due to Assembly Bill 705, which takes away remedial classes for transfer classes.
With this new bill, students are forced to take transfer math classes and pass them all within the same year.
This new bill is putting a lot of stress on students and the math department is trying to fix that.
Chair of the Math Department Joseph Kazimir said, “No good, bad bill.” He said that since the bill has been in effect, he has been getting visits from students asking for help.
He said a lot of students can’t pass the classes and need the prerequisites.
He said a lot of the math teachers are having trouble with this bill because they don’t know how to help students.
Because of this bill, a lot of math professors are disconnected from their students and don’t know how to properly teach them when a lot of students need a refresher on math.
Kazimir said last school year, 2000 students had no classes to go to because they were all enrolled in prerequisite courses when the bill was in the early stages before it went into full effect.
He said that Math 125 was too hard for students so they dropped out.
He believes that Francisco C. Rodriguez, chancellor for the Los Angeles Community College District, misinterpreted the law because some schools still have their prerequisites, but also have the bill applied to them.
“I believe that the law is ruining the community colleges in this district,” Kazimir said. “Our rights were violated by the Chancellor.I’m filing a grievance on behalf of the Math Department to have those remedial classes restated.”
A grievance is a complaint about something that is unjust.
Faculty file grievances to the teachers union when they have a complaint.
There is a three-step process when filing a grievance.
Other colleges in the district are also filing a grievance because they feel the bill is unjust.
Most colleges are still on the first step of filing a grievance, but Pierce College has already secured a hearing with an arbitrator.
An email sent out by the community college district shows how many students have successfully passed the transfer classes after the bill was implemented.
They show that in regular math classes, the number of unsuccessful students was even with the number of successful students but was still considered too high.
Another section showed that there were more unsuccessful students than successful students who were enrolled in BSTEM. These classes are for science majors and business majors.
“There is nothing to catch a student if they fall,” math professor and Chair of District Math Counsel Daniel Judge said.
This means if a student takes one of the AB 705 classes and fails, they don’t have any class to go to for support, so they are going to have to stay in the class and fail over and over again.
Kazimir and Judge believe that this bill affects all students and not just first-year students.
They both hope that with the new data they will be able to change the bill so that students won’t have a stressful time at school.