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An evaluation of california state law on high school exit examinations

Living in Dialogue

Last year, for example, in the last year, 4. That amounts to nearly 20,000 seniors. The impact was especially large for minority students and for girls.

On average, graduation rates were 19 percentage points lower among bottom-quartile female students who were subject to the CAHSEE requirement, but only 12 points lower among male students.

The graduation rate for minority students in the bottom achievement quartile declined by 15 to 19 percentage points after the introduction of the exit exam requirement, while the graduation rate for similar white students declined by only 1 percentage point.

The analyses further suggest that the disproportionate effects of the CAHSEE requirement on graduation rates are due to large racial and gender differences in CAHSEE passing rates among students with the same level of achievement.

Many use either a combination of English and Math proficiency and some states use one or the other as worthy of granting a diploma. However, it seems worthy to ask: What is the goal of an education?

What is the goal of graduating?

Is it to encourage students to achieve basic competency in core subjects? Is it to make the high school diploma more meaningful?

And, even if the military is the goal of the student, not passing an exit exam, would deny them entry to the military. How can this be good for students? Each iteration was premised on two basic goals. First, an exit exam would increase student achievement overall by setting a clear standard for high school learning and by motivating students to earn the more meaningful, and valuable, diploma.

Does it seem to you our lawmakers, education reformers, and industry folks want a guarantee? I just say, duh! However, I ask, is the demand of an exit exam at odds with the ability of the student to move onto adulthood, unharmed by education practices, a worthy goal? And, I say, yes it is. Yes, some corporations and parents are trying to say, using a test score to determine worthiness of a high school diploma is a worthy goal, but I ask, at what cost and to whom?

Doing the work, getting the grades, doing the time. Those things are not worthy? For many students high school is a time for growing up, taking note of skills and abilities. Learning about the world. This is not rocket science.

A passing test score should not be the only worthy, or last goal for our students to obtain a high school diploma.

This is worth consideration.

This is notably true when we know, I say, yes, we know, exactly how standardized test scores are cut along poverty lines. True, ending poverty is another worthy goal.

  • This is not rocket science;
  • The analyses further suggest that the disproportionate effects of the CAHSEE requirement on graduation rates are due to large racial and gender differences in CAHSEE passing rates among students with the same level of achievement;
  • However, I ask, is the demand of an exit exam at odds with the ability of the student to move onto adulthood, unharmed by education practices, a worthy goal?

Though I believe it is a goal that is impossible to reach, and all the more difficult in the real world. It is an ideal worthy of reaching and we should do our best to try to reach it, but you see, as soon as you raise one student out of poverty, there are more to follow. Sure, I want to end poverty, I really do. So, ending poverty might raise scores, but it will not answer the question about exit exams while awaiting the end of poverty. When thinking about an exit exam, what is the result for a child in poverty?

Assessment

Critics have said there is little evidence the exam alone helped boost achievement of at-risk students. Instead, critics said, there is significant evidence the exit exam prevented many English learners, minority and low-income students from earning a high school diploma.

It will only be over if parents demand removal of the high school exit exam as a requirement to receive a high school diploma. When we do, perhaps we can return to what an education is supposed to be about, a time for growing up, not yearning for a passing score on an exit exam. As usual, be careful for what you ask for, you just might get it. This seems most apropos for our lawmakers and business leaders. What is the quote? Yes, our students are worthy.

  • Instead, critics said, there is significant evidence the exit exam prevented many English learners, minority and low-income students from earning a high school diploma;
  • Yes, our students are worthy;
  • Each iteration was premised on two basic goals;
  • As usual, be careful for what you ask for, you just might get it;
  • First, an exit exam would increase student achievement overall by setting a clear standard for high school learning and by motivating students to earn the more meaningful, and valuable, diploma.

However, high school exit exams are worthless.