Los Angeles Unified School District, the country's second-largest school system, will vote next month on a proposal that would require all students, starting with the Class of 2008, to take the 15 courses needed for admission to the state university system. While schools chief Roy Romer says the college prep track is "the right goal and the right aim," critics warn the rigorous curriculum could lead to higher dropout rates and discourage kids interested in the arts and technical areas.

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