More LAUSD Students Passing CAHSEE On First Try
Los Angeles-More 10th graders in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are passing both portions of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE)-English language arts and mathematics-the first time they take the test than in the past, paving the way for a greater number of students to graduate with a high school diploma, based on results released today by the California Department of Education.
Eighty-seven percent of the 12th graders in the LAUSD’s Class of 2009 passed both portions of the CAHSEE.
“The results from this year’s California High School Exit Exam are great news for our students, parents, teachers, principals and administrators,” said LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines. “It validates that the District continues to make marked improvement in the number of students who passed the state required exam.”
Seventy-one percent of the District’s 10th grade students successfully passed the English language arts portion of the exam, compared to 62 percent four years ago. Seventy percent have passed the mathematics portion, an increase from 58 percent for the Class of 2006. In the Class of 2011, 60 percent of the 10th graders passed both portions of the exam on their first try.
For the past three years, the percentage of English learners passing the exam on their first try has been steadily increasing, from 15 percent for the Class of 2009 to 20 percent for the Class of 2011. The percentage of reclassified English learners passing both parts of the exam jumped to 78 percent for the Class of 2011, compared to 57 percent for the Class of 2006, an increase of 21 percentage points.
Since 2006, all public high school students in California must pass the CAHSEE, in addition to successfully meeting and completing other state and school district course requirements, to receive a high school diploma.
The CAHSEE is designed to improve student achievement in high school and help ensure that graduates demonstrate grade-level competency in reading, writing and mathematics.
High school students take the CAHSEE for the first time in 10th grade. Those that do not pass one or both portions of the exam have multiple opportunities to retake the CAHSEE through 12th grade. Those students who do not pass the CAHSEE by the end of 12th grade are encouraged to return to their high school, community adult school or community college to receive additional assistance to pass the test.
Other highlights of the 2008-2009 CAHSEE results:
Ã¡ Compared to other urban districts in California, LAUSD gained nine percentage points in English language arts, the second highest among similar districts. In mathematics, LAUSD advanced four percentage points from the previous year, which was higher than the statewide average.
Ã¡ In recent years, more African American and Hispanic students are passing the exam on their first try.
Ã¡ Since 2006, African-American 10th graders’ pass rate increased by 15 percentage points and Hispanic 10th graders increased by 19 percentage points.
Ã¡ In the Class of 2006, 36 percent of African-American students passed both parts of the exam, compared to 51 percent in the Class of 2011. For Hispanic students, 38 percent passed both parts of the exam in the Class of 2006, compared to 57 percent in the Class of 2011.
The percentage of students passing the CAHSEE on their first try in 10th grade increased for all major subgroups, except for English learners. The pass rate for first time English learners dropped from 29 percent for the Class of 2006 to 20 percent for the Class of 2011. This decrease is in part due to the focus on reclassifying English learners over the past five years. Once English learners are fluent in the English language, they become reclassified as fluent English learners and are no longer counted in the English learner subgroup.
“The results are encouraging and will help further the District’s goal of increasing the graduation rate. I urge principals, teachers, counselors, students and parents to continue to work together to raise student achievement,” Cortines said.