The High School Exit Exam: The Most Significant Challenge Ever For The Articulation Process Dr. William Elkins, Director School Services – Senior High Schools
California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) • Authorized in Senate Bill 2, O’Connell Chapter 1 – 1999) • Purpose • To ensure that pupils who graduate from high school have demonstrated grade level competency in reading, writing and mathematics consistent with the State Board of Education adopted academic content standards.
CAHSEE Key Dates • Annual District notification of CAHSEE requirement for high school graduation to parents/guardians beginning 2000-2001. • CAHSEE offered to students at Grade 9 beginning 2000 – 2001. • All students at Grade 10 required to take the CAHSEE beginning 2001 –2002. • Students are required to pass the CAHSEE to receive their high school diploma beginning with the 2003 –2004 school year.
CAHSEE Special Considerations • Students with exceptional needs: • Will be administered the examination with appropriated accommodations as required in each student’s IEP. • Must pass the CAHSEE unless IEP does not lead to high school diploma.
In March, 2001, approximately 90 per cent of ninth grade students took the CAHSEE. Less than 45 per cent of those students passed the CAHSEE. More troubling, less than 25 per cent of the Latino and African-American ninth graders passed the exam. CDOE, June, 2001
“The results are sobering,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Delaine Easton. “The reality is that some of our schools are not adequately preparing all students with the coursework and material required to pass the CAHSEE. The data show that we have a great deal of work to do, especially with our low-performing schools.
How can we improve the performance of students on the CAHSEE? • Implementation of aggressive Outreach Programs by Senior High Schools. • Improved Articulation Programs.
Too few parents and students are fully aware of the resources including Magnet and Academy programs that are available for students in Local District G senior high schools.
Each high school must assume the responsibility of developing and implementing the type of aggressive outreach program that clearly explains to parents how the instructional program on that campus promotes student achievement (i.e. Dorsey Renaissance).
CAHSEE: English/Language The type of reading stamina necessary for success on the CAHSEE must begin in elementary school and be enhanced at the middle school level prior to students entering senior high school.
CAHSEE: Writing Writing skills including MUGS (mechanics usage, grammar and spelling must be developed in elementary school and improved in middle school prior to students entering senior high school.
CAHSEE RESULTS: Who gets the Credit or takes the Blame? “The Quarterback Syndrome” for Senior High Schools ULTIMATELY “What goes around, comes around” for all schools
Why is the CAHSEE the most significant challenge for Articulation? Despite the fact students will have the opportunity to take this exam throughout their high school years, unless significant measures are implemented by all schools to reverse the dismal failure rates of African-American and Hispanic students, rather than serving as an assessment tool, the CAHSEE will only serve to increase the dropout rate for low achieving students.
Discussion Groups • Crenshaw Complex • Mann Middle (Recorder/Reporter) • Dorsey Complex • Audubon Middle (Recorder/Reporter) • Manual Arts Complex • Muir Middle (Recorder/Reporter) • Washington Prep Complex • Clay Middle (Recorder/Reporter)
Articulation Discussion Topics • What type of Articulation process has been used in this Complex? • What has been positive about this process? • How can the Articulation process for this Complex be improved this school year?