Sunday, May 21, 2006

California high school exit exam - can you pass it?

Can you pass the California high school exit exam?

The California Department of Education released sample questions from the Spring 2001 California high school exit exam. You may view these sample questions by opening the links below.

English-Language Arts Sample Questions (pdf 2 Mb)
Mathematics Sample Questions (pdf 1 Mb)

There are 60 Mathematics Sample Questions. The first 50 problems are on concepts taught in grades 6 and 7. The last 10 problems require some basic algebra. If students only need to get 50% correct to pass, and they get several chances (over 2 or 3 years) to pass, it doesn't seem unreasonable to require students to get a passing grade to get a diploma.

If the judge rules that students get a diploma regardless of how little they know, then perhaps schools should give students who pass the exit exam a certificate documenting that they actually know something.

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Hanley Family said...

I have mixed feelings about the high stakes testing. Having taught in TX with the monster of TAAS, I have seen what it does to education. The test, not the teacher...and certainly not the parent...dictates everything done in the classroom. Schools need to show improvement. And they have neat little charts that show the "bubble" of which students are most likely to benefit from extra instrucion (those in the middle of the class). All the classroom activity is focused on these because the slow learners are likely going to fail anyway and the fast ones will pass anyway.

The sad thing is, when you look at the tests themselves, for the most part you think that students of that grade should be able to pass them. But should the rest of the state be left behind to focus on the "target" group most likely to show improvement?

ChristineMM said...

I am going to take it later today or tomorrow. However given that I went to public school and I learned to do short term memory retention for test taking I don't know how much I actually retain on quick-recall now that I have been out of high school for 20 years. I homeschool my children but they are in elementary school so I have not taught high school material in our 'home school' yet (which will be a big review for me or might even go beyond and deeper what I was taught in my public high school).

Thanks for the link!