Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

CAHSEE Returns

California's Supreme Court reinstated California's High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) today, overruling Alameda Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman who had granted an injunction aginst the exam on May 12, citing concerns for poor and minority students. The case has been referred to a State Appellate Court for further review and it is not entirely clear what will happen to those who have not yet passed.

The earlier injunction was wrong, and I was irked by the attitude of the Superintendent of San Bernardino City Unified, Arturo Delgado, as quoted in earlier LA Times article about it. He expressed his relief at the initial injunction against the exam two weeks ago saying, "I don't want to see any student leave our system after a full 13 years and not have a diploma, especially if we've said they are capable of doing the work year in, year out."

Of course nobody wants to see that, but the answer is better education, not lower standards. About 10% of CA seniors (~47,000) did not pass the exam yet, but they can take remedial classes over the summer, and they may retake the test a total of six times (or repeat only the part--English or Math--that they previously failed). The mathematics section does not go beyond Algebra I. The English section does not go beyond relevant curriculum for grade 10. Nobody likes tests, but this one is a minimal test, and sympathetic administrators should not be allowed to hand students a diploma when those students cannot do basic skills. It doesn't matter that they've been in the system for 13 years. You don't get a diploma for attendance.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read that quote initially and I was furious. He said "...especially if we've said they are capable of doing the work year in, year out." In other words, it sucks to have the students fail a basic competency test when the school has been CLAIMING that the students are "capable of doing the work" for years, to justify their own poor performance as teachers and schools. 

// posted by LTG

Dr. Strangelove said...

Exactly.

Anonymous said...

I hope the test will stand. You all know my attitude about this from previous posts. This points to something else in the culture: No one should fail, everyone should be rewarded for effort. I say phooey! Sometimes your effort just aint good enough. Pick up, dust off, and try again harder.

If 47,000 were unable to pass, that means the test is doing its job. If everyone passed, I'd worry the test was a fake. 

// posted by USWest