Saturday, September 5, 2009

2009 San Leandro High School Exit Exam Test Results Released

The California High School Exit Exam is first given to students in 10th grade and covers two subjects: English language arts and math. The test is based on the California state standards, which define what students should be learning each year.

Students must pass the CAHSEE to graduate from high school. The goal is for all students to pass the test. The results below are for 10th grade students at San Leandro High Schoola nd nearby schools taking the test the first time.

The state average for English Language Arts was 79% in 2009, and it was 80% for Math.

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San Leandro High School:

Scale: % passing
Grade 10
English Language Arts
78% (2009)
75% (2008)
78% (2007)
71% (2006)

Math
76% (2009)
79% (2008)
79% (2007)
78% (2006)

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Arroyo High School

Scale: % passing
Grade 10
English Language Arts
84% (2009)
83% (2008)
83% (2007)
84% (2006)

Math
86% (2009)
79% (2008)
82% (2007)
83% (2006)

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San Lorenzo High School

Scale: % passing
Grade 10
English Language Arts
73% (2009)
69% (2008)
70% (2007)
70% (2006)

Math
71% (2009)
68% (2008)
66% (2007)
74% (2006)

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Castro Valley High School

Scale: % passing
Grade 10
English Language Arts
94% (2009)
95% (2008)
92% (2007)
94% (2006)

Math
94% (2009)
93% (2008)
90% (2007)
94% (2006)

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Mount Eden High School

Scale: % passing
Grade 10
English Language Arts
76% (2009)
77% (2008)
76% (2007)
72% (2006)

Math
77% (2009)
76% (2008)
71% (2007)
76% (2006)

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Hayward High School

Scale: % passing
Grade 10
English Language Arts
67% (2009)
75% (2008)
70% (2007)
66% (2006)

Math
66% (2009)
73% (2008)
65% (2007)
67% (2006)

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Tennyson High School

Scale: % passing
Grade 10
English Language Arts
65% (2009)
68% (2008)
59% (2007)
64% (2006)

Math
63% (2009)
65% (2008)
62% (2007)
58% (2006)

What does passing the high school exit really mean and why is there such a disparity in schools within a few miles of San Leandro High School, even though all schools use the same curriculum approved by the state? Dan Martin, a veteran teacher at San Leandro High School, recently observed:

The great majority of the students who don’t pass the CAHSEE, especially in time for graduation, are more recently arrived English Learners and Special Education students. English Learners (ELs) are still in the process of acquiring sufficient English to pass the HSEE, especially the English section. While many of these ELs haven’t passed in English portion, many of them do pass the math section of the HSEE, so it isn’t that they aren’t trying, they just don’t have sufficient English vocabulary and comprehension to make sense of the extensive English section.

That said, it is important when looking at HSEE scores, and the political rhetoric about how wonderful the passage rates are, that “passing” requires getting an overall average score of 60%, or a D-, if this were a typical score in a high school classroom. That said, I’m happy that many 10th graders pass it the first time and get this graduation requirement completed, and most students pass it in time for graduation, but it’s not a measure of high academic achievement, which is lost in the local, statewide, and national political hoopla.

The one thing about these standardized testing regimens is that there is rarely any cost-benefit analysis conducted. Statewide and locally, there is a significant amount of time and money expended to get these results, money for support and intervention programs, time for repeated planning and administration of these tests throughout 10-12th grades, money to the testing companies for everything they produce and the scoring of the tests and distributing the results to districts and parents, and in the impact on student schedules of those who have to repeatedly take these tests.

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