One-fifth of California high schoolers fail graduation exam

Nearly 100,000 California high school students in the class of 2006 have failed the state’s graduation exam, according to researchers at the Human Resources Research Organization.

The group conducted a review of the test results as part of a report ordered by the California Legislature when it instituted the exit exam several years ago.

Among its findings: 63% of African Americans students, and 68% of Latinos in the class of 2006 have passed both parts of the exam.

By comparison, 89% of Asian students, and 90% of whites, have passed.

Despite remedial classes, after-school tutoring and other academic help, tens of thousands of students — particularly those in special education and others who speak English as a second language — may still fail the test by the end of their senior year, the group said.

The report recommended that the state keep the exam in place but consider several alternatives for students who can’t pass.

“Clearly, we need to have some options for these students,’ said Lauress L. Wise, the firm’s president, in a telephone interview with reporters.

Seniors could be allowed to submit portfolios of work that demonstrate mastery of English and math, the report’s authors suggested. Or, schools could allow students to spend an extra year in high school, or earn diplomas for completing special summer school programs in lieu of the exam, the report proposed.

The state also could establish alternate diplomas or graduation certificates for students who pass part of the exit exam, the group offered.

But California Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said he opposed any change that would diminish the worth of a high school diploma.

“It’s important to keep one core principal front and center: awarding a student a diploma without the skills and knowledge to back it up does the student a disservice’ said O’Connell, who added that his staff would study the options spelled out in the new report. — Los Angeles Times

Now the stupid part is that the test covers mastery of an eighth grade level of math and a ninth to tenth grade level of English. Twenty percent of students can’t demonstrate mastery of these basic levels, in their senior year of high school!

But this is not news. Public schools aren’t designed to give children an education. Instead, they’re designed to make them dumb. Anyone managing to get an education in public school has done so despite the best efforts of the school system to prevent them from getting one.

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