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California High School Exit Exam

April 19, 2003
Re "L.A. School Board Votes to Oppose State Exit Exam," April 9: Not until the eleventh hour does the Los Angeles Unified School District board decide to devote significant attention to the California high school exit exam. This HSEE was developed in 2000, as mandated by a state law passed in 1999. The exam has been revised, reviewed and field-tested in several California school districts since 2000. The purpose of this 1999 statute is to help improve student achievement in high school and to ensure that graduates meet identified eighth-, ninth- and 10th-grade state content standards in reading, writing and mathematics.
May 24, 2000
I applaud Robert Levine's "Schools: Standards Are Important, but Money Is Vital" (Opinion, May 21). As a member of the California High School Exit Exam Advisory Panel, I, along with others, have listened to testimony from many experts as we have worked to implement a testing of "standards." The experts from the Texas statewide testing system have given our panel testimony that emphasizes the need for a huge influx of financial resources if students are to be held accountable to pass such a high-stakes exam.
August 16, 2004 | From Times Staff Writers
The California Department of Education today will release results of standardized tests taken by nearly 4.8 million public school students in grades two to 11. The students took tests last spring tied to California's academic standards in English-language arts, math and other subjects. As a measure of how schools and school districts are performing, The Times compiled results spanning four years of standards testing in English-language arts and three years in math.
May 11, 2003
Re "State Education Official Seeks to Delay Exit Exam," May 2: Writing about the high failure rate on California's high school exit exam, reporter Duke Helfand notes that "only 60% of the students of the class of 2004 have passed the math portion of the test so far" and cites the study which estimates that "even after additional attempts over the next year, about 20% of that class still might be denied diplomas." Is it my imagination or has the burden of responsibility and blame shifted so dramatically?
October 31, 2007
Re "Make 'No Child' honest," editorial, Oct. 28 It takes only a C+ or even a C to note the pratfalls of the No Child Left Behind Act. The public needs to understand the vast intricacies of fairly assessing schools in order to find the mix that will assess while informing a school of what works best. It would take a B+ or better to convince parents that the days of the quarterly report card are over -- the cards give little evidence of how ready a student is to compete for a future.
July 23, 1999
The statewide Stanford 9 student test scores, finally released Thursday after two delays, chart the great academic divide in California. Most English-speaking students outperformed the national average and showed sometimes significant improvement. Most English learners made modest gains but still did poorly, challenging the state to close this gap while boosting achievement for all students. The test results did not reveal any major new lessons for parents or teachers.
May 11, 2006
Re "Judge Delays Ruling on Junking California's High School Exit Exam," May 10 Hooray to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert B. Freedman in delaying his final ruling regarding the high school exit exam. We can only hope now for a complete dismissal of the case. Requiring students to pass a test of basic math and English is a step in the right direction. What is the value of a high school diploma if it is awarded to someone who does not possess basic English and math skills?
October 6, 2002
Re "State Ponders Delaying Exit Exams Due to Failures," Oct. 1: During the deliberations of the High School Exit Exam Advisory Panel from July 1999 to January 2002, I, along with many others, suggested delaying the consequences of the exam from applying to the class of 2004 to the class of 2008. My students have the benefit of a qualified mathematics teacher who majored in math in college. Many students in our state are not so fortunate. They are not being taught by qualified math teachers.
August 16, 2007
Liliana Valenzuela was a high school senior with a 3.84 grade-point average who ranked 12th in her class. She could not, however, pass the English portion of California's high school exit exam and, by law, was barred from graduating. Valenzuela became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit asserting that students should not be denied diplomas because their schools failed to prepare them for the exam.
March 9, 2003
Reading "State Exit Exam Gets Poor Grades" (March 4) gave me chills of remembrance. I graduated from Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., in 1995, with above a 4.0 grade average, and I had a terrible score on the SATs. I went on to college (based on my academic performance, not some arbitrary test score) and graduated in 1999 with honors (cum laude). I know what these high schoolers are going through when they feel that all of their hard work is for naught if they cannot pass the exit exam.
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