Thursday, April 20, 2006

Students, Parents and Californians for Justice challenge High School Exit Exam - 2nd lawsuit filed

Students and parents throughout the state of California are continuing their resistance to the race and class biased California High School Exit Exam or 'CAHSEE' which is being implemented for this year's graduating seniors. The statewide racial justice group Californians for Justice and their lawyers - Public Advocates - in a lawsuit filed yesterday allege that the state Board of Education and Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell reviewed exam alternatives too late for lawmakers to consider or implement them. The LA Times reported today:
A grass-roots advocacy group sued the state in Alameda County Superior Court this week, seeking more time for the Legislature to review alternatives to the high school exit exam. If successful, thousands of public high school students in the class of 2006 who have failed the test would receive their diplomas.
...It is the second exit exam-related lawsuit filed this year. Ten high school students and their parents sued in February to stop the exam, alleging the state did not adequately prepare all students for the test or find alternatives.
"California officials have had five years to develop workable alternatives, but they didn't even start looking until December," Public Advocates managing attorney John T. Affeldt said.
"This suit is to ensure that 48,000 high school students won't have to pay the consequences for the superintendent and state Board of Education's delay" in considering alternatives, he said.
Also, parents and students in Richmond, CA and other West Contra Costa County Unified School District neighborhoods spoke out last week against the CAHSEE as well. Though their school board resolution that would have attempted to grant diplomas to high school students who met reasonable graduation requirements but had not passed the CAHSEE failed by a 4:1 vote, they are vowing to continue their efforts for equity for their communities. See Tiny's report in Poor News -

Si Se Puede! (Yes we CAN!) - Caramel, honey, white and dark chocolate arms and multi-lingual voices rose in unison as they marched down the rain-slicked streets of Richmond and San Pablo toward a school board meeting deciding on a landmark challenge to the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).
On Monday April 10th, the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) voted no on a proposal brought forth by school board member Dave Brown which would have acted as an alternative to the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). The proposal included granting high school diplomas to students in the district who successfully completed all of their high school requirements as well as a Senior Year Demonstration even if they did not pass the much-maligned California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE).
Besides the materials on the Californians for Justice and Public Advocates websites -
also check out the analysis by Los Angeles' Coalition for Educational Justice, another grassroots organization that has been organizing a movement of parents, teachers and students for educational justice and equity.

No comments: