Beginning with the Class of 2006, students in California public schools were required to pass the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) to demonstrate competency in grade-level skills in reading, writing, and mathematics before they were able to earn a high school diploma. This was after a two year delay from 2004 when it was originally supposed to be implemented.
After thirteen years, state lawmakers proposed a repeal of the law requiring all students to pass an exit exam in order to receive their high school diploma and today, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation rescinding the controversial exams.
The requirement had been shelved (on suspension) for the last three years but on October 10, 2017 the Governor officially made it a thing of the past. The test was suspended back in 2015 due to the implementation of common core standards and the incompatibility of the two frameworks. Despite the fact that some lawmakers believed that the test was still needed, it was easily revoked in the last session of the legislature.
The CAHSEE was criticized by many. In 2005, there was an uproar over the impact on special education students who could not meet the CAHSEE requirement and would be blocked from graduating. Initially, students with documented disabilities were granted accommodations in taking the test, but by 2010 the state concluded that students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan would be exempt from the requirement to pass the exams in order to receive their diploma.
I am glad to see this go, but there were many students who were deprived from participating in their high school graduation ceremonies and other graduation activities because they failed the CAHSEE over the thirteen years the requirement was in place. And that is, as they say, a bell you cannot unring.
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