After years of setting “rigorous” requirements, Los Angeles finds that nearly 75% won’t be qualified to graduate. Superintendent Ramon Cortines says it is time to be realistic.

“This has prompted some in the L.A. Unified School District, including Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, to suggest reconsidering the requirements, which were approved a decade ago to better prepare students for college. The plan came after years of complaints that the nation’s second-largest school system was failing to help underprivileged students become eligible for and succeed in college.

“In an interview, Cortines said the effort is laudable, but that it would be unfair to penalize students who otherwise could graduate.

“I do believe the goal is a good one, but we need to be realistic,” Cortines said. Enforcing the plan is “not practical, realistic or fair to the students of 2017. I don’t think we’ve provided the supports to the schools.”

“But the college prep requirements still have significant backing within the district and among community activists, who say L.A. Unified must do a better job helping students pass the challenging classes.”

Many “reformers” think that high expectations are self-fulfilling. The evidence says they are not. Without a host of supports, both in school and outside, students are not able to overcome high hurdles.