Friday, October 18, 2019

California Exit Exams Litigation Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 words

California Exit Exams Litigation - Essay Example A recent nationwide study by the Manhattan Institute revealed that only 32 percent of all American students leaving high school are college-ready. The picture is said to be bleaker for the so-called ELL (English Language Learner) students, which is 20 percent for African-American students and 16 percent for Hispanics. Among all the states, California has the highest population of such minority students, followed only by New York (Garcia, 1991), such that a big proportion of graduates from California's public high schools is unfit for college. To erase this blot in the state's educational landscape, the state legislature enacted the California High School Exit Exams (CAHSEE) in 1999, which was implemented on a voluntary basis in 2001 for the high school students scheduled to graduate in 2004. From that time until the exit exam was made mandatory in 2006 as a requirement for graduation of all public high school students, the program has been hounded by controversy. So far, two class ac tion suits have been filed against state authorities alleging that the exit exam is arbitrary and impracticable. This paper examines the effects of CAHSEE to see if there is really such a cause for action against the program and whether the changes set to be introduced in the rules as a consequence of the lawsuits can improve the situation. The California High School Exit Exam is one of many state-specific educational schemes given impetus by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was enacted by the national legislature in 2001 to reduce the dropout rates and narrow the perceived achievement gap among high school students all over the US. A priority concern of NCLB is the increasing number of special education students who lag behind in academic achievement because of physical and cultural handicaps. Students with physical disabilities and those with ethnic roots, that altogether comprise 35 percent of the public high school population in California (Greene & Winters, 2004), have the highest dropout rate and the lowest ranking in academic achievement and expectations because of poverty and lack of language skills. The NCLB mandated the adoption of testing schemes to ensure that the public school system benefits all students and non-performing public schools improve their instruction. CAHSEE was California's respons e to the measure, which has similarity in content to other schemes established in about half of the American states. There are a dozen other smaller programs, including the school choice initiative and the voucher-and-charter school scheme in which students are allowed to leave public schools for better performing private ones, with appropriate assistance (Forster, 2006). In all, the common goal is to forge a 100 percent passing rate for all public high school students so no one is deprived of the opportunity to pursue a college degree. The CAHSEE consists of two main sections: English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Under the ELA section, examinees are usually asked 72 multiple-choice questions and have to write a 2 and page essay. To obtain a passing grade in this section, the students must get 60 percent of the questions right. In the math section, which comprises 80 multiple-choice questions, the passing score is 55 percent. Sample questions in the ELA and math tests

No comments:

Post a Comment