RIP California High School Exit Exam 2006-2017

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.  

*CDE DataQuest

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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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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