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State lawmakers have added an amendment to a proposed bill that could allow school districts to retroactively award diplomas to students even if they failed the California High School Exit Exam.

The assembly Appropriation’s Committee added a provision to Senate Bill 172 that would grant districts waivers to award diplomas to students as far back as 2006, when the exit exam became a requirement for graduation.

The provision would only affect students who met all other graduation requirements but could not pass the exit exam, said Robert Oakes, spokesman for Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada-Flintridge, author of SB 172.

Each school district would have to decide if it wants to award the diplomas retroactively, Oakes said.

The bill could go for a vote before the full Assembly early next week, Oakes said.

The original bill called for the state to suspend the exit exam in the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 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.

Earlier this week, Gov. Jerry 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 several more times as permitted under state law.

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. It’s unclear how many of these students also lacked sufficient credits or high enough grades to earn a diploma even if they had passed the exit exam.

Alycia Billy, 19, from Ukiah in Mendocino County, failed the math portion of the exit exam by only one point, denying her a diploma in 2014.

Billy said she was so happy to hear about the amendment including students from previous years, like her, that she wanted to cry.

“I just feel like things are happening for a reason because I’ve tried so hard and now it’s finally going to happen,” she said optimistically. “I’m so happy. I’m just so thankful. I really honestly didn’t give up. I come from a family where we don’t give up. We just keep trying until we succeed.”

Billy will consider writing letters to lawmakers urging them to approve the bill as amended, so she and others who have been trying for years to pass the test can fulfill their dreams, she said.

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  1. T.L. 1 year ago1 year ago

    My name is Telesis Radford and I attended high school at Santa Rosa High. I did receive a Certificate Of Completion in 2006; I was a good student and received all of my high school credits and I never ditched school or was a delinquent, it was a sad and devastating time for me to receive that and not my High School Diploma, my senior year was just a hard time for me. How … Read More

    My name is Telesis Radford and I attended high school at Santa Rosa High. I did receive a Certificate Of Completion in 2006; I was a good student and received all of my high school credits and I never ditched school or was a delinquent, it was a sad and devastating time for me to receive that and not my High School Diploma, my senior year was just a hard time for me. How can someone tell me that because I didn’t pass the CAHSEE test I was ‘Not ready to graduate and receive my High School Diploma’,I passed the English portion of the CAHSEE but was off on the math portion by two (2) points…..two points,and I had taken the CAHSEE test five (5) times, not only was I devastated but my parents were too. They saw how hard I was working, and they helped me every step of the way but no matter what, I kept getting knocked down after I had worked so hard, I took six high school classes,night classes and after school tutoring. Not receiving my High School Diploma prevented me from getting Great job opportunities; I have had so many doors of opportunity slammed in my face for not having my High School Diploma. I wish to be in medical and get my Phlebotomy License but I cannot do that because I do not have my High School Diploma, and to get into the Phlebotomy Program I must have my high school diploma. I am trying to make a future for myself and I have always wanted to be a Phlebotomist. it is my Dream, my Passion, and it is a struggle because I don’t have my High School Diploma. I am married and want my husband to be proud of me(I know he is but I want him to be even more proud of me) we also wish to have children one day and I don’t want them to ever look at me and see me as a failure.
    I feel like my life would be different because I would be at my Dream job working in a hospital or clinic drawing blood and talking with my patients, getting to know them and hear their stories, I would be in the medical field, and I would not be struggling like I am now today to achieve and accomplish my Dream. I feel that my world be more fulfilled because me and my husband would be able move forward in our future with buying a nice house and having children. Please make this bill retroactive for previous years, I have and still do work really hard and I deserve my High School Diploma.

    Replies

    • Adult ED Student 1 year ago1 year ago

      Hi TL, I hear you. FYI they passed SB725 which exempted students in 2015 from the CAHSEE. Read SB725 here is the link https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB725 If I were you I would enrolled in an Adult Ed high school now 2015, then request a diploma ( provided you have completed all the requirements) I would request a diploma and if they refuse, then tell … Read More

      Hi TL, I hear you.

      FYI they passed SB725 which exempted students in 2015 from the CAHSEE. Read SB725 here is the link

      https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB725

      If I were you I would enrolled in an Adult Ed high school now 2015, then request a diploma ( provided you have completed all the requirements) I would request a diploma and if they refuse, then tell them that you believe that you are discriminated because the Cahsee was not available in July 2015 nor will it be in Oct 2015. The bill exempts students in 2015.

      Under the 14 Amendment and the Ca Constitution Declarations of RIghts you are entitled to equal protection and rights

      CA Constitution Article 1 sec 7 , 2b reads(b) A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens.

      If 2015 high school students are given a waiver due to the cancelled test , I believe a 2015 Adult high student who is seeking the same diploma and has met the same terms is entitled to receive the same Diploma due to the State cancelled test in July and the Oct 2015 cancelled test. Adult students should get the same privilege and or immunity under Equal protection .

      A pass for one should be a pass for all.

      Try it. If they refuse file a uniformed complaint against the school then call the ACLU , American Civil Liberties Union, I believe they can make a case out of this

      As a person who is advocating for students like you, I have just this week brought this issue to the attention of many Senators and Assemblymen. Seems that no one them has even thought of this as being a rights issue (well, I did and I do not have my diploma yet) Additionally, I informed them that the rule to take the Cahsee test have long been discriminatory because they allow high school student up 5 times a year to take test , but it limits an Adult Ed high school student to only 3 times a years.

      I have not found many Adult Ed advocates so I have started doing so on my own. I believe that no adult should be left behind.
      If you would like to help yourself and others like us you can email me for some info at dailysheets@aol.com

  2. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    Wow, this is weird. I just made a comment on Jack O’Connell’s recent article on Ed Source that said, in effect, diplomas should be issued retroactively, keeping with O’Connell’s logic. Maybe he possessed the body or Tom Torlakson so he could stay on as SSPI.

  3. Parent 1 year ago1 year ago

    Why not just create a public web page where you put in your name and it spits out a pdf of your high school diploma that you can print?

    Replies

    • sustu 1 year ago1 year ago

      Well said.