FERMIN LEAL/EDSOURCE TODAY

State lawmakers have sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown that would allow school districts to retroactively award diplomas to high school students who failed the California High School Exit Exam.

The Senate voted 23-14 on Thursday to support Senate Bill 172, which would award diplomas for students who were attempting to graduate as far back as 2006, when the exit exam became a requirement for graduation. The state Assembly had already passed the bill earlier in the week.

The proposed law would only affect students who met all other graduation requirements but could not pass the exit exam. Students would have to contact their individual school districts to determine if they qualify.

The state is no longer administering the exit exam after its contract with the test’s publisher was set to expire in October. May was the last time the exam was given to students.

“A large number of adult students continue to work toward their diploma,” said Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge, author of the bill.

Students in adult education were allowed to continue taking the exit exam several times, even years after they were supposed to graduate from high school.

State Sen. Bob Huff, R-San Dimas, and some Republican lawmakers opposed SB 172 because they said it “cheapened” the value of diplomas for students who earned them by passing the exit exam.

“I do believe exit exam has served a noble purpose,” Huff said. “It’s something that we have as measure to show that students have met some sort of requirement. It’s a dumb move (to retroactively award diplomas) and I oppose it.”

SB 172 originally called for the state to suspend the exit exam in the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years and eliminating it as a graduation requirement during that time. Meanwhile, lawmakers and educators would determine if the state should create a new version that’s aligned with the Common Core State Standards, or eliminate it altogether as a graduation requirement.

Lawmakers added the provision last month to retroactively grant diplomas to any student who met all graduation requirements except for passing the exit exam.

Three weeks ago, Gov. Brown signed legislation that exempted students from the graduating class of 2015 from having to take the test in response to a snafu that left thousands of seniors without the ability to take the test in July and in subsequent attempts this fall and spring.

Brown could consider signing SB 172 as early as next week. He has not publicly indicated whether he would support the bill.

 

Robert Oakes, a spokesman for Liu’s office, said the governor’s office has worked with Liu’s team to add the provision to award retroactive diplomas. Oakes said he anticipates Brown will sign the legislation.

Between 2006 and 2014, nearly 249,000 students, or about 6 percent of test-takers, did not pass the exit exam before the end of their senior year, according to data from the Human Resources Research Organization, or HumRRO, an independent evaluator commissioned by the state to review results of the exit exam each year. That data shows that most of those students also lacked sufficient credits or high enough grades to earn a diploma even if they had passed the exit exam. HumRRO estimates that between 1 and 4 percent of seniors met all graduation requirements except for the exit exam.

Students who failed the exit exam but met all other graduation requirements were often awarded certificates of achievement, a diploma-like document.

Still, many were prevented from applying to some four-year colleges, vocational training programs, or military service or for jobs that required a high school diploma.

If Brown signs the legislation, it would go into effect Jan. 1.

 


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  1. John 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    I went to a charter high school, I have passed all my classes. I have told them about this bill; they said we will let you know. It has been 8 months, and i haven’t got my diploma; they said is still on progress. Can someone help me?

  2. Kacie 4 months ago4 months ago

    I am 30 years old and I have been trying to take my science tasks for about 10 years and no matter how hard I try I always fail and every year the test is different. I passed all my tests except science. What can I do to get my diploma so I can go back to school.

  3. Laura 4 months ago4 months ago

    Honestly, I think these politicians who are voting on these requirements should sit down and pass these exit exams before requiring these students to do so. Additionally, when they were in school they did not have these requirements. So, are their diplomas less valuable?

  4. monica 8 months ago8 months ago

    I have all my credits but need my math exam but i was from class 2014 does the law that pass require me getting my diploma since there is nomore test

  5. tania h 8 months ago8 months ago

    thanks god... im a 2008 class and i didn't passed the English part..by 2 points... after my senior year i went to adult school to take it again but the same thing.. i didnt pass it by 2 points again, the 3rd time i took it i was real nervous and i fainted in the middle of the exam. it was a big deal for me to pass the exam but since then all this … Read More

    thanks god… im a 2008 class and i didn’t passed the English part..by 2 points… after my senior year i went to adult school to take it again but the same thing.. i didnt pass it by 2 points again, the 3rd time i took it i was real nervous and i fainted in the middle of the exam. it was a big deal for me to pass the exam but since then all this happen im been like hopeless wishing one day to go to a university, now they are give us a big opportunity finally all this years of hopeless are coming true.. im just waiting for the 1st of january to call my district…..

    (happy)

  6. Pam 8 months ago8 months ago

    Well, let’s just give all medical students a diploma whether or not they know the difference between the pancreas and the kidneys.

    Replies

    • Trena 7 months ago7 months ago

      Some people do not test well. Learning disabilities play a great part in this. Many go undiagnosed. It is a shame to not drop out of school, struggle and study harder than everyone else to pass all your classes and still not get a diploma. Many of the people that struggle with test taking are brilliant in many other ways, just have difficulty with testing. Other states do not give this test to … Read More

      Some people do not test well. Learning disabilities play a great part in this. Many go undiagnosed. It is a shame to not drop out of school, struggle and study harder than everyone else to pass all your classes and still not get a diploma. Many of the people that struggle with test taking are brilliant in many other ways, just have difficulty with testing.

      Other states do not give this test to graduate. And guess what- people who otherwise would not have gotten a diploma receive one and they are able to do more and not be on welfare, because they have a diploma and more opportunities.

  7. Desiree 9 months ago9 months ago

    I seriously don’t understand how they made others work so hard for the exit exam (cahsee) while the ones who didn’t pass it, still get their diploma. That’s just dumb! They don’t deserve it. Is not fair!!!!

    Replies

    • shawn 5 months ago5 months ago

      Exit exams mean nothing. Some people aren’t good test takers. And it’s a laugh that anyone has to work hard to pass this test, as its designed basically for an 8th grade education.

  8. malissa lana 9 months ago9 months ago

    I want to understand what’s the issue involving the displayed dispute upon disqualifying the exiting exam for 2006 students please help pass.

  9. kathy 11 months ago11 months ago

    This sounds like something from The Onion. Seriously, you flunk the test and you get a diploma anyway? The system is failing these students. It should be helping them pass, not GIVING them a pass.

  10. Luke Berry 11 months ago11 months ago

    I received a certificate of completion at Kern Valley High School in 2013. I failed the exit exam. I can’t go anywhere without my diploma. I need the opportunity to further my education.

  11. RRika 11 months ago11 months ago

    Just looked at the news and they're going back as far as 2004 so people who did not pass the exit exam but have the high school credit they need will be able to received their high school diploma. I think its a wonderful idea. I got my high school credits. I've passed the English part of the exit exam. The math part was what I had the most trouble with. I'm happy he made … Read More

    Just looked at the news and they’re going back as far as 2004 so people who did not pass the exit exam but have the high school credit they need will be able to received their high school diploma. I think its a wonderful idea. I got my high school credits. I’ve passed the English part of the exit exam. The math part was what I had the most trouble with. I’m happy he made that decision and I can’t wait to get my diploma.

  12. Dalia Rios 11 months ago11 months ago

    Does anyone know by when is Jerry Brown expecting to sign the new law for students who graduates between 2006 and 2014?? I graduated on June 2013 and I graduated with extra credit and I passed the Math section and I was close to pass the English one. I really need a Diploma to get help in college because its really hard to go to College without Financial help.

    Replies

    • Fermin Leal 11 months ago11 months ago

      The governor has until Oct. 11 to sign or veto the legislation, so it could be any day now.

      • Dalia Rios 11 months ago11 months ago

        Oh thanks for the information.. I didn’t even know that.

  13. Jayola 11 months ago11 months ago

    Everybody is not good in every subject. I had a 3.5 GPA in High School, got accepted to Spelman College but I could not get my diploma in 2009 because I failed the math part of the exam. So guess what,no Spelman for me. Math has never been my strong point. I had tutors, but I still couldn't pass. Formulas and algebra are my weakness. I had 20 credits over the requirement to graduate, but … Read More

    Everybody is not good in every subject. I had a 3.5 GPA in High School, got accepted to Spelman College but I could not get my diploma in 2009 because I failed the math part of the exam. So guess what,no Spelman for me. Math has never been my strong point. I had tutors, but I still couldn’t pass. Formulas and algebra are my weakness. I had 20 credits over the requirement to graduate, but the only thing that held me back was the Math exit exam. I refused to get a G.E.D because I worked hard in middle school and high school. Why should I settle, or anybody else settle, for a G.E.D if they don’t have to? If this one test determines our fate, and not the 230 credits to graduate, I wasted 4 years of my life. I could have been home-schooled instead of dealing with having my future on hold. This will be so unfair for everybody who worked hard from 2004-2013 and not get a Diploma, while this year all the students from 2014-2015 will receive it even though they failed. Why should they have a chance to succeed in life, and we can’t? I always wanted to experience the college life at University, but I got stuck at a community college, due to this exam. This exit exam ruined my future.

  14. Daisy Castellon 11 months ago11 months ago

    Hi Marian, My name is Daisy Castellon, I am student journalist at Sacramento State University. I am currently writing a story on SB 172 which if signed by the Governor will allow students who did not pass the CAHSEE to receive their diploma. I would love to talk to you and ask you some questions. I hope to hear from you, you can email me at dc3296@csus.edu. Thank you!!! Read More

    Hi Marian,

    My name is Daisy Castellon, I am student journalist at Sacramento State University. I am currently writing a story on SB 172 which if signed by the Governor will allow students who did not pass the CAHSEE to receive their diploma. I would love to talk to you and ask you some questions. I hope to hear from you, you can email me at dc3296@csus.edu. Thank you!!!

  15. Veronica 11 months ago11 months ago

    I was class of 2006 and met all requirements except math portion of exit exam, will I be able to recieve my diploma and when would we know?I contacted Rio Linda high but have not heard anything back yet!

    Replies

    • Theresa Harrington 11 months ago11 months ago

      The governor has not yet signed the bill. If he does sign it, it would go into effect in January and your school district could give you your diploma at that time. The governor’s office issues press releases when he signs bills. We will write a new story when action is taken. You can also check the governor’s website at: https://www.gov.ca.gov/s_pressreleases.php

    • Daisy Castellon 11 months ago11 months ago

      Hi Veronica, My name is Daisy Castellon, I am student journalist at Sacramento State University. I am currently writing a story on SB 172 which if signed by the Governor will allow students who did not pass the CAHSEE to receive their diploma. I would love to talk to you and ask you some questions. I hope to hear from you, you can email me at dc3296@csus.edu. Thank you!!! Read More

      Hi Veronica, My name is Daisy Castellon, I am student journalist at Sacramento State University. I am currently writing a story on SB 172 which if signed by the Governor will allow students who did not pass the CAHSEE to receive their diploma. I would love to talk to you and ask you some questions. I hope to hear from you, you can email me at dc3296@csus.edu. Thank you!!!

  16. sustu 11 months ago11 months ago

    I am a life-long democrat. I teach in a school with a majority of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Many of them are very hard to motivate. Without SOME sort of test or measuring stick required to graduate, for many of my students, their level of motivation will plummet, and they will learn even less. It's not that I don't want poor kids and Limited English Speakers to have … Read More

    I am a life-long democrat. I teach in a school with a majority of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Many of them are very hard to motivate. Without SOME sort of test or measuring stick required to graduate, for many of my students, their level of motivation will plummet, and they will learn even less. It’s not that I don’t want poor kids and Limited English Speakers to have diplomas–it’s that I want them to be able to compete with the kids of the middle and upper-class. A good education is an equalizer. Lowering the standards for a high school diploma is not going to help in the long run.

    If students can’t pass the CAHSEE, then no way are they going to pass the Smarter Balance test. The way things are developing, it seems the Common Core Standards are designed only for the college-bound middle and upper class students. For everyone else, they are just Common Core Suggestions, because if there are no consequences to students not meeting them, then they aren’t really standards. Without the CAHSEE or SOME other required assessment in place, we will go back to the good ole days when we awarded high school diplomas to students who read and write only at 2nd-grade level.

    Employers, hold onto your hats. You’d better come up with your own tests for prospective employees to pass, or else only hire college graduates, because soon California public high school diplomas won’t be worth much.

    And for all those who now will be given your diplomas in spite of not passing the CAHSEE–please don’t stop your education here. You have shown you have persistence by getting this far, and that’s a good thing. So, after the celebration, get back on that education horse and keep going, before the disappointment hits you when you realize all the holes there have been in your education so far. Don’t be discouraged if your employer lets you go. Don’t be discouraged when you are placed in remedial classes. Just get yourself to Adult School or Community College, and keep going. Please.

  17. Lin Alberti 12 months ago12 months ago

    This exam is pointless and unfair. First, it only puts the requirement on a group of students in a particular time frame. Second, not everyone can be proficient in both language arts and mathematical skills because those are different intelligences and often one who is good in one may not be good in the other. Also, it blocks California students specifically from accessing options available to students throughout the United States. … Read More

    This exam is pointless and unfair. First, it only puts the requirement on a group of students in a particular time frame. Second, not everyone can be proficient in both language arts and mathematical skills because those are different intelligences and often one who is good in one may not be good in the other. Also, it blocks California students specifically from accessing options available to students throughout the United States. So someone in a state which doesn’t require the exam can qualify to go into the service or to a four year college in a different state or even a California college, but the California student who may even be a better match is blocked from moving forward. This also put pressure on students to “teach to the test” instead of teaching to actually learn. I am a Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude graduate of a school with a high reputation but I barely passed algebra although I went on to teach English as a teaching assistant at USC and to developing programs for high school students to encourage them to go to college.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 11 months ago11 months ago

      Do you have any idea how easy these tests are? You don't have to teach to the test, if you know basic reading and math YOU WILL PASS! No one is teaching to the test, that's ludicrous! The numbers that fail this are tiny. Most kids pass in 10th grade. You don't have to be good at math and English you have to be minimally competent. Please review an actual … Read More

      Do you have any idea how easy these tests are? You don’t have to teach to the test, if you know basic reading and math YOU WILL PASS! No one is teaching to the test, that’s ludicrous! The numbers that fail this are tiny. Most kids pass in 10th grade. You don’t have to be good at math and English you have to be minimally competent. Please review an actual test before you make these statements. Anyone who can read and write and knows basic grammar will pass. Anyone who knows basic math and pays attention and does homework will pass. It’s not some esoteric test like the GMAT, this is very basic and if you don’t pass you won’t be good on the job and will be a liability. Good grief.

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