Thursday, February 09, 2006

State of Education in CA

High schoolers in CA are having to face what no other student thoughout CA history has had to do: Pass an exit exam in order to get a high school diploma.

On Wednesday, a group of high school seniors and their parents who are worried the test might prevent them from graduating filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Education and school Superintendent Jack O'Connell, claiming the exam is illegal and discriminatory

Lead attorney Arturo Gonzalez said the lawsuit likely will expand to represent tens of thousands of students who have met all local requirements to graduate except passing both sections of the exam.

"Many students in California have not been given a fair opportunity to learn the material on the exam," Gonzalez said. "These are good kids who have worked hard for 13 years to pass their courses."
(-Violin off).

He [Jack Jennings, Washington, D.C.-based Center on Education Policy. ) said most states want to make the academic standards and the exams more rigorous, but most only measure at about a 10th-grade level. California's exam tests 10th-grade English, ninth-grade math and level-one algebra. Students need to answer 60 percent of the questions correctly to pass each section.

Obviously, "trade schools" need to be brought back INTO operation in CA -- for many students.

My favorite part of the article:

James Dahm and April Crawley, both 18 and seniors at Rio Linda High School near Sacramento said their school has offered numerous tutoring sessions to help students pass. Both said they passed the English portion of the test on the first try but needed two attempts to pass math.

"You don't see us trying to sue people," Crawley said.

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