Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bombshell - CA High School Exit Exam is back on the table for 2006 graduates, says Superintendent O'Connell

I just received this through the CA School Boards Association - State Superintendent O'Connell has just announced that a CA Supreme Court ruling now allows the CAHSEE [CA High School Exit Exam] to go into effect as planned, despite the Alameda County Court's decision on May 12 that blocked the CAHSEE from implementation this year.

"I am extremely pleased that the Supreme Court has reinstated the California High School Exit Exam as a condition for graduation. As a result, school districts can continue their graduation exercises as planned before this litigation began."I will communicate with districts today to ensure they are aware that the exit exam is a graduation requirement. Students who have worked hard to pass this exam will be given a diploma that signifies their mastery of essential skills in reading and math. I hope that this decision will give students in the class of 2006, their parents, and their schools certainty. "We will not give up on the students who are still struggling to pass. They will continue to be given every option to master those skills theywill need in order to succeed beyond high school."
"In sending this case to the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court has provided us an opportunity to argue the merits of this case."
The Alameda County Superior Court on May 16th had unfortunately dismissed the other CAHSEE lawsuit called Californians for Justice Education Fund v. the State Board of Education which was brought by the grassroots Californians for Justice and Public Advocates.

But Public Advocates filed late yesterday filed an emergency appeal with the California Supreme Court. Yesterday’s filing asks the Supreme Court to consider and reverse Judge Freedman’s denial of relief on an expedited basis. Given the stay of the Valenzuela injunction, the Californians for Justice case now provides an alternative basis for a delay in the CAHSEE diploma denial penalty.
Click here for the CFJ case brief.

So the fight is still on to ensure an equal opportunity to learn for all students and an end to racist and class-biased standardized tests like the CAHSEE which discriminates against immigrant, ELL, African American, Latino, and Special Education students and causes more drop outs in our high schools.

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