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Huh? Students who didn’t pass state exit exam for graduation accepted into 4-year colleges

Thousands of students in California are “in limbo” after being notified that they cannot take the California High School Exit Exam to get the needed high school diploma and continue on to college.

That’s because the exam is no longer offered.

“In June, state education officials canceled the final administration of the exam, which had been scheduled for July, while the Legislature considers a measure that would suspend the test as a graduation requirement for at least three years,” reports Campus Circle.

Now, consider:

The move left thousands of students who failed earlier attempts to pass the test in limbo — stripped of their last shot at graduating before the beginning of college classes.

That’s right — colleges have already accepted these students.

More from the article:

Krissia Martinez, 19, who was among the students at the board meeting, pleaded with district officials to give her a diploma or let her take the exam.

Martinez was counting on taking the exam in July along with about 5,000 other students across the state. The high school senior had passed all of her classes and the math portion of the Exit Exam.

She was just six points shy of the 350 required to pass the English portion the last time she took the test, in May. She needed to answer one or two more questions correctly.

About 25 percent of those who take the test in July pass it, according to results from previous years, and Martinez believed she would be among them. She never stopped studying for the exam even as she participated in a summer program for incoming freshmen at San Francisco State, where she was accepted earlier this year.

The state did not put a limit on how many times a student could take the test. Martinez, who attended San Francisco International High School, believed the seventh time would be the charm, but she never got the chance to prove it.

She “passed all of her classes?” Wow, is that supposed to be some sort of laudable feat?

At any rate, yes — the decision by these officials is just stupid. If the exam was already scheduled, you can’t just rescind it with so many kids depending on it.

But here’s the real question, via Darren at Right on the Left Coast, a teacher in the California schools (and to whom the hat tip goes for this article): “How is it that a student who hasn’t passed that most basic test can get accepted into a university?”

The exam (CAHSEE) is given to sophomores, Darren says, “the majority of which pass it the first time.”

Ms. Martinez, the Campus Circle article notes, is like many teens in this current exam predicament: They’re fairly new residents of the United States and have difficulties with the English portion of the test.

The California State Legislature is considering ditching the CAHSEE as a graduation requirement as officials claim it “isn’t aligned with what’s being taught in schools” and “doesn’t match up with the new Common Core standards .”

Read the full article.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.