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                            CAHSEE

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  Anywhere High School (AHS) CAHSEE Program

by

Jeri Stickney Phillips


 Introduction


The State of California has mandated that all high school students must pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) in order to get a diploma at graduation. This mandate was intended to increase the validity of a high school diploma; however, the CAHSEE has been a barrier for some populations of students. For instance, some Special Education students struggled to pass the CAHSEE and were awarded a certificate of completion instead. A Special Education student received a certificate of completion if he or she “satisfactorily completed a prescribed alternative course of study … identified in his or her individualized education program” (Transition to adult living: An information and resource guide, 2007). This meant if a Special Education student completed all high school credits, he or she participated in all graduation activities; however, these students did not receive a diploma. Unfortunately, lack of a diploma may have precluded these students from many possible employment options such as a military career, or entry into higher education opportunities.

Approximately twenty-five percent of the tenth grade students at Anywhere High School (AHS) did not pass the CAHSEE on their first time. This was about 100 students. Almost all Special Education students in Special Day Classes (SDC) did not pass. In addition, several Resource students in Special Education also did not pass, and some general education students did not pass, including English language learner (EL) students. Further, by the time these tenth grade students reached the point of graduation as seniors, there were still approximately 8% of students who did not passed one or both sections of the CAHSEE. Only two students who did not pass were not Special Education students.


References

 

Aronson, J. Z. (2009). How lower performing schools can help students pass the high school exit exam and prepare for college: Promising practices from the CAPP CAHSEE Initiative.   Retrieved 5/20/09, from http://www.calstate.edu/CAPP/projects/docs/HowLow_PerfHS_Pass_CAHSEE-acc.pdf

Hearne, S. (2009). The best test preparation for the CAHSEE: Mathematics. Piscataway, NJ: Research & Education Association.

High-stakes exams for special education: Does it help or hurt? (2004). District Administration, 40(5), 39-39.

Jaquish, S. (2006). Effect of computer-based preparation for the California high school exit exam.   Retrieved 5/20/09, from http://imet.csus.edu/imet8/jaquish/Portfolio/ShowcaseAR.htm

Moody, D. L. (2008). The best test preparation for the CAHSEE: English-language arts. Piscataway, NJ: Research & Education Association.

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., & Kemp, J. E. (2001). Designing effective instruction (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Questions and answers about the California high school exit examination (CAHSEE) test variations. (2004).   Retrieved 5/20/09, from http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/qandatestvar.asp

Reardon, S. F., Arshan, N., Atteberry, A., & Kurlaender, M. (2008). High stakes, no effects: Effects of failing the California high school exit exam.   Retrieved 5/20/09, from http://www.stanford.edu/group/irepp/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=43

Reardon, S. F., Atteberry, A., Arshan, N., & Kurlaender, M. (2009). Effects of the California high school exit exam on student persistence, achievement, and graduation.   Retrieved 5/20/09, from http://www.stanford.edu/group/irepp/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php

Rumberger, R. W. (2006). California's exit exam fails employers.   Retrieved 5/20/09, from http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jan/29/opinion/op-rumberger29

Transition to adult living: An information and resource guide. (2007). Sacramento: California Department of Education.

Warren, J. R., & Grodsky, E. (2009). Exit exams harm students who fail them - and don't benefit students who pass them.   Retrieved 5/20/09, from http://www.soc.umn.edu/~warren/Warren%20&%20Grodsky.pdf

Zau, A. C., & Betts, J. R. (2008). Predicting success, preventing failure: An investigation of the California high school exit exam. 2009, from http://www.earlylearningfoundation.com/pdf's/California%20prediction%20of%20Passing%20HS%20Test%20,%202008.pdf

 

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