California High School Exit Exam
This press release from California shows just how dumbed down the US "education" system has become. Texas, the state which has been touted as having made the greatest advances in education, doesn't even include algebra, statistics, or probability in its exams. How does Texas know how well their students are doing if they don't even test them? California, which is bragging that "Because the CAHSEE includes algebra, geometry, probability and statistics, we must acknowledge that it is the most rigorous high school exit exam in the nation", yet doesn't even use the word "calculus" in its entire testing program.
This is an incredibly low standard for a nation which once prided itself on the quality of its education system. 93% of Japanese students and 50% of German students take and PASS calculus, but we don't even bother to tell students that they have such an option. How can we claim to have a "rigorous ... exam" when we don't even test for calculus? We require a passing grade of only 60%, only a third of California's students pass the exam, which means that an average of only 20% of the questions were answered correctly, and we proclaim that it's "rigorous" because the uneducables proved once again that they're uneducable. Based on the results of the Star exam, the statement that "less than 25 percent of the Latino and African-American ninth graders passed the test" most likely means something very close to 10%, yet almost two thirds of the students in school districts which have fewer niggers and Latrinos passed the test.
Even schools districts with the highest percentage of passing students have niggers and Latrinos, though, which means that the majority of those in the highest scoring school districts which scored lower than the national average were not Asians or Whites. For example, 25% of Laguna Hills High School students failed to score in the top 75th npr, but 20% of their students are either blacks, Indians, Filipinos, Hispanic, or Pacific Islanders. Conversely, 86% of Moulton Elementary School's fifth graders scored over the national average in the Stanford 9 test, but 86.5% of their students are Whites and Asians. Being a White or an Asian is almost the sole determinant of whether or not a student passed the test. Thus, the percentage of fifth graders who score over the national average in math can be predicted to within 6% if the percentage of Whites and Asians in the school is known.
This is not something that money can ever hope to fix. We need to do something similar to what Mexico does when assesssing potential immigrants--establish their financial worth to our economy. An immigrant to Mexico must prove that he earns 42 times more than the prevailing minimum wage in Mexico City at the time of his immigration, yet all we do is ask if they can breath our smog for longer than 30 seconds. If they can, then, boom, they're "American" citizens.
This practice caused the percentage of California's residents who are White to decrease by a whopping 7.1%, from 57.2% in 1990 to only 46.7% in 2000. Not even the 1.7% increase in the percent of Asians could make up for this brain drain from California, whose already low rank in NAEP Math of 9th from the bottom in 1990 plunged to 6th from the bottom in 2000. If this trend were to continue over the next decade, only 36% of California residents will be White, but the 12.6% who would be Asians won't come close to making up for the decreasing scores, and California will have established itself in a solid last place of all the NAEP states by the year 2007. At that rate, Whites will be 26% of the population in two decades, 15% in three decades, and 5% in four decades, and California's math skills will then rank in the range of Mozambique.
CONTACT: Doug Stone (CDE) 916/657-3027 REL#01-34
Phil Garcia (SBE) 916/657-5478 6/7/01
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION RELEASES
HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAMINATION RESULTS
Less then 45 percent of students pass rigorous exam
SACRAMENTOThe State Board of Education (SBE) today released the results
of the first California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). Under current law,
starting with the high school class of 2004, in addition to local district graduation
requirements, students must pass the CAHSEE in order to get a high school diploma.
In March 2001, approximately 90 percent of ninth graders took the CAHSEE. Less
than 45 percent of those ninth graders passed the exam and, more troubling, less than 25
percent of the Latino and African-American ninth graders passed the test. Students who
did not pass will have multiple opportunities to take and pass the CAHSEE throughout
their high school years.
"The results are sobering," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI)
Delaine Eastin. "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."
"Because the CAHSEE includes algebra, geometry, probability and statistics, we
must acknowledge that it is the most rigorous high school exit exam in the nation," State
Board of Education President Reed Hastings said. "Any citizen can see just how rigorous
our California standards and assessments are."
Available on the <www.cde.ca.gov> Web site is a representative subset of the
actual CAHSEE questions.
"The achievement gaps shown by the data are not acceptable. But we now have
firm data that will allow us to focus our efforts to close the gap, including targeted
instruction," added Hastings.
As part of the comprehensive reforms California is pursuing, significant steps are
already underway to ensure that all students have an opportunity to pass the CAHSEE,
including: standards-based professional development, incentives to attract qualified
teachers into low-performing schools, and an accountability system that gives incentives
to improve achievement among our lowest-performing students.
Initiatives already proposed by the Davis Administration and passed by the
Legislature, as well as those proposed this year, "are absolutely necessary to bring highquality
instructional services and opportunities to all students," said Hastings.
This is especially true for current proposals, he added, including algebra
incentives, professional development for all reading and math teachers, incentives for
teachers to instruct in low-performing schools and a proposal by State Senator Martha
Escuitia, D-Montebello, to add new resources and reconfigure all existing resources for
As an additional safeguard, Governor Davis is sponsoring and State
Superintendent Eastin is supporting legislation that would ensure that students would face
consequences for passing the CAHSEE only when they have been provided every
opportunity to pass the exam. Assembly Bill 1609 (Thomas M. Calderon, D-Montebello)
would do the following:
ï¿½ Limit pupils in grade 9 to taking the CAHSEE to the 2000-01 school year; beginning
in 2001-02 school year, each pupil shall take the CAHSEE in grade 10 and will
continue to have multiple chances to pass the exam;
ï¿½ Require the SSPI to contract for an independent study, with the approval of the SBE,
to examine whether the test development process and the implementation of
standards-based instruction meet the required standards for a test of this nature; and
ï¿½ Authorize the SBE to defer the date upon which each pupil completing grade 12 is
required to successfully pass the CAHSEE as a condition of receiving a diploma of
graduation to a date other than the 2003-04 school year.
Eastin and the SBE today also released a representative and significant sample of
the test questions from the 2001 CAHSEE, as well as material from the American
Institute of Research (AIR) on the development of the passing score recommendations
from a panel of experts.
The SBE took action today following a review of the results of the March 2001
administration of the CAHSEE after considering the recommendations of the panel of
experts and Eastin.
The SBE adopted Eastins recommendation to establish a passing score of 60
percent correct for English-Language Arts and 55 percent correct for Mathematics. The
CAHSEE is based on Californias English and mathematics content standards, generally
regarded as the nations most rigorous learning expectations for its K 12 students.
"The panel of experts recommended a passing score higher than my adopted
recommendation. I believe it is wiser is to start at 55 percent and 60 percent passing
scores, and move the bar up as we continue to improve the entire education system," says
"I applaud Superintendent Eastins analysis of the appropriate pass rate, given that
we have one of the most challenging high school exit exams in the nation. Texas, for
example, has not included Algebra, Statistics, or Probability in their exit exam for the last
10 years," says Hastings.
"Originally we had hoped to set an even more rigorous passing score, but we were
unable to get Senate Bill 84 passed by the Legislature. Senate Bill 84 would have allowed
the SBE to set the passing mark based upon a complete tenth grade census of students.
Given the current situation, however, our best course was to set the passing score as we did
with the intention to move it up to a 70 percent correct passing score for future classes of
high school students," said Hastings.
"Given this information, we must focus much more attention on our lowestperforming
schools and on our lowest-achieving children. That means insisting that every
opportunity to learn this information must be afforded to every child," said Eastin.
"Keeping in mind our children will have multiple opportunities to pass this test,
there is still much to be done in the coming years," she said.
The CAHSEE was signed into law in 1999 by Governor Davis as a way to assess
whether high school students have mastered a set of standards-based skills before being
awarded a diploma. The first test was given on a voluntary basis to the class of 2004,
todays freshmen. The exam covered English-language arts and math.
Capistrano Unified School District
November 2001 Superintendents Column
James A. Fleming
Laguna Niguel Edition
Celebrating Student Achievement
The latest standardized test scores reveal that Capistrano Unified School District students are not only achieving academic success, but they are improving their past performance and even lengthening the results gap between themselves and their peers at the state and national levels. According to our 2000-01 Comprehensive Assessment Program Report, formally presented to the School Board earlier this month, CUSD students scored among the best in the state and nation on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), American College Test (ACT), and 27 Advanced Placement tests, just to name a few.
Standardized tests results are a critical component for assessing the effectiveness of our educational programs. Testing helps us measure aggregate progress as a school district and assess the individual progress of each of our nearly 47,000 students. These assessments help us develop plans for individual student improvement generally, mastery of CUSD and California State Standards, and preparation for college.
Capistrano students are asked to take myriad of examinations. Among other things, these high stakes tests help determine which university a student might attend. That is why we are pleased to report our great 2000-01 test score results.
SAT I: The number of CUSD students taking the SAT I in 2001 jumped 140 students over the year 2000. The combined CUSD mathematics and verbal median of 1110 represents an increase of eight (8) points over last year and a growth of 50 points since 1992. The state SAT I average score is 1015, while the national average is 1020. Aliso Niguel High School had the highest CUSD school combined score at 1115 while Dana Hills High School raised its score 19 points to 1111.
ACT: Not only did more students (101) take the exam than last year, their score surpassed the state average of 21.4 and national average of 21.0. Districtwide, CUSDs score was 23.5. A leading academic indicator for colleges, Aliso Niguel students increased their ACT composite scores to 23.8. Dana Hills composite score improved nearly a point to 23.0 over last years score.
AP: The percentage of CUSD students passing an AP exam in 2001, which counts for college unit credit, was 75.8, clearly exceeding the state and national percentages of 60.3 and 61.6 respectively. This is a remarkable achievement especially since the number of students passing the exam increased by 511 from last year to a total of 2,418 this year. Once again, with 82.1 percent, Aliso Niguel had the highest percentage of students receiving a passing grade of "3" or higher on their exams. At Dana Hills, 444 students took 831 exams with a passing rate of 78.7 percent.
CAHSEE: Sixty-two percent (62%) of CUSD ninth graders who voluntarily took the exam passed both the English and mathematics test. The state average was 34 percent. At Aliso Niguel, 65 percent of the 213 students tested passed both the exams while 234 students from Dana Hills took the test with 48 percent passing. Students who did not take or pass the test have three years to accomplish that challenge
IB: Eleven San Clemente High School graduates of the Class of 2001 earned a prestigious IB diploma, arguably the most academically rigorous high school program in the world, in only the third year of the program.
With outstanding school results and individual scholars such as Tony Shih, who is attending UC Berkley after graduating last year from Aliso Niguel with a 1540 on the SAT I and 48 units of college credit and Jason Hseuh, who is at Stanford University after graduating from Dana Hills with a Golden State Seal of Merit Diploma and 63 units of college credit, it is appropriate to celebrate our successes.
I would also be remiss if I didnt report that much of the credit for student performance resides in the Advanced Placement faculties at Aliso Niguel and Dana Hills High Schools. Among the many outstanding performances achieved by faculty members were turned in at ANHS by Ken Ezratty in AP American Government where 96 percent of his 80 students passed the examination and Paul Biggs in English Literature and Composition where 96 percent of his 46 students passed the examination. At DHHS Martha McIntosh in AP American Government saw 97 percent of her 75 students passed the examination while Al Morgan and Sharon Levin in English Literature and Composition saw 96 percent of their 48 students passed the examination.
Kudos to our students, teachers, administrators and support staff for a job well done. Although there is always room to grow, our test results show that student achievement is our focus in CUSD. Our goal is to help children learn, to learn more today than yesterday, and to learn more tomorrow than today.