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Posted: 10/3/2005 5:32:19 AM EDT
www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-exit1oct01,0,7413567.story?coll=la-story-footer&track=morenews



20% of Seniors Flunk High School Graduation Exam
Nearly 100,000 statewide are in jeopardy of not earning diplomas, a report says. They have until June to pass the two-part, two-day test.
By Duke Helfand
Times Staff Writer

October 1, 2005

Nearly 100,000 California 12th graders — or about 20% of this year's senior class — have failed the state's graduation exam, potentially jeopardizing their chances of earning diplomas, according to the most definitive report on the mandatory test, released Friday.

Students in the class of 2006, the first group to face the graduation requirement, must pass both the English and math sections of the test by June.

The exit exam — which has come under criticism by some educators, legislators and civil rights advocates — is geared to an eighth-grade level in math and to ninth- and 10th-grade levels in English.

But the report by the Virginia-based Human Resources Research Organization showed that tens of thousands of students, particularly those in special education and others who speak English as a second language, may fail the test by the end of their senior year despite remedial classes, after-school tutoring and other academic help.

Teachers, according to the report, said that many students arrive unprepared and unmotivated for their high school courses and that their grades often reflect poor attendance and low parental involvement.

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

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

By comparison, 89% of Asians and 90% of whites have passed. The report recommended that the state keep the exam 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.

The state, for example, could allow seniors to submit portfolios of work that demonstrate mastery of English and math, the report's authors suggested.

The report also proposed that schools allow students to spend an extra year in high school or earn diplomas by completing special summer school programs in lieu of the exam.

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

But California's superintendent of public instruction, Jack O'Connell, said he opposes any change that would diminish the worth of a high school diploma.

"It's important to keep one core principle 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 outlined in the report.

The exit exam was originally slated for students in the class of 2004. But disappointing passing rates prompted state education officials to push the requirement back two years. The state also shortened the test from three days to two.

Students get several opportunities to pass the exam in high school, and they have to correctly answer only a little more than half of the questions to succeed.

Even so, the exam has come under legal attack by disability rights advocates who fear the effect on special education students; just 35% of such students have passed both parts of the exam so far.

A bill recently approved by the Legislature, which sought to settle a special education lawsuit, would delay the requirement for another two years for many students with disabilities. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not indicated his position on the measure.

Special education advocates and others who oppose the mandatory graduation requirement called Friday's report a sobering wake-up call.

Opponents of the exam said that it penalizes minority students and those in low-income communities whose overcrowded schools often lack experienced teachers and other necessary resources.

"It's unfair to give this test because of the unequal school system we have," said Edgar Sanchez, who teaches U.S. history at Washington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles. "Every day I see students go through conditions of overcrowding. Sometimes students don't have a desk to sit at."

Los Angeles High School senior D'Janay O'Neal had another complaint. She said she freezes up on the math portion of the test because "math has never been my strong suit."

D'Janay, 17, said she passed the English section on the first try but has failed the math part three times. She is taking an extra remedial math class this semester to help her pass the test, in addition to her Algebra II class and two Advanced Placement courses. She said she has a 2.0 grade point average.

"I am totally freaking out that I may not graduate," said D'Janay, who attended a rally against the exit exam this week in a park next to her high school.

"No matter what happens, I'm going to college because I need college to further my education," she said.

The high school protesters — carrying banners that read "Educate Don't Terminate" and "Don't Judge Students By One Test" — denounced the exam as discriminatory.

They called for Schwarzenegger to sign another bill that would allow schools districts the freedom to evaluate students through alternative assessments such as portfolios of work. The Legislature recently approved the bill, which is sitting on the governor's desk. Schwarzenegger has not taken a position on the bill, a spokeswoman said.



Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:37:55 AM EDT
I'm sorry, but if you can't do 8th grade math, maybe you don't deserve a high school diploma?

It's not a certificate of attendance.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:41:17 AM EDT

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

By comparison, 89% of Asians and 90% of whites have passed. The report recommended that the state keep the exam but consider several alternatives for students who can't pass.

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:50:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
I'm sorry, but if you can't do 8th grade math, maybe you don't deserve a high school diploma?

It's not a certificate of attendance.



But, but, but............should the federal govenrment GIVE them a diploma as a token of how things will be as they enter into the lifelong 'entitlement lifestyle'?????

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:54:27 AM EDT
WoW, can't pass 50% of a test that is 2-4 grade levels below what you are. That is sad.

My brother is going to an agricultural high school. He spends more time on a tractor than in a class room, and he still passed the MCAS (required) on his FIRST try. Just how retared are these kids?
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:00:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Noname:

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

By comparison, 89% of Asians and 90% of whites have passed. The report recommended that the state keep the exam but consider several alternatives for students who can't pass.



My daughter took this exam a ways back, and she said the students were given a passing score on the writing portion even thought the student only wrote 4 sentences. You're suppose to write a page. These passing rates are very generous to say the least, because the real score is probably way worse. My guess on the real score is proabably 50% at best.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:07:51 AM EDT
That's 20 out of 100 for those of you in Rio Linda.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:13:44 AM EDT
Kinda odd how one of the reasons given for failing is ESL students, when they don't have as bad of a results as some other students who have spoken some version of english their whole lives.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:13:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Jack19:
That's 20 out of 100 for those of you in Rio Linda.

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:23:34 AM EDT
Like, that totallly blows n stuff.

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:26:09 AM EDT
I took that test. You'd have to be Hellen Keller to not pass.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:51:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By natedog375:
I took that test. You'd have to be Hellen Keller to not pass.



Hell, Hellen Keller would pass. I'll put $20 on it.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:55:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Noname:

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

By comparison, 89% of Asians and 90% of whites have passed. The report recommended that the state keep the exam but consider several alternatives for students who can't pass.




Just pass everyone?
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:09:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

It's not a certificate of attendance.




But that's apparently all it has been in the past.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:20:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chaingun:

Originally Posted By Noname:

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

By comparison, 89% of Asians and 90% of whites have passed. The report recommended that the state keep the exam but consider several alternatives for students who can't pass.




Just pass everyone?


The LAUSD has probably been doing just that. LAUSD doesn't have the space to put all of these students that don't pass because there are students coming up from lower grades. There is zero mechanism put in place to do something about students who don't pass. I wonder what the L.A. teachers unions and their Democratic cohorts at the state legislature and executive level going to say about this. Calif has been poring a lot of money into education without getting too much in return.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:20:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2005 7:20:49 AM EDT by Gatchaman]
At least the scores are up. Previously less than half of all seniors could pass that exam. They had to remove it that year as a qualification for Graduation.
What make this sicker is if you live in California, you get bombarded with commercials from the teacher's union about how the Governor screwed them. I've been a student in a few different California school districts, and they should spend some of that effort from the campaign, on the students. I doubt the voters will come through this special election.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:37:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Gatchaman:
At least the scores are up. Previously less than half of all seniors could pass that exam. They had to remove it that year as a qualification for Graduation.
What make this sicker is if you live in California, you get bombarded with commercials from the teacher's union about how the Governor screwed them. I've been a student in a few different California school districts, and they should spend some of that effort from the campaign, on the students. I doubt the voters will come through this special election.


We have an election on Nov 8, 2005 on some reforms put through by Ahnold to take away some fund rasing power of the unions and political power of the Dems. The unions are putting up a heck of a fight. But this report will put them at odds with them.
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Unions Working a New Tactic Against Governor
Labor leaders contact firms to stem donations to Schwarzenegger's initiative campaigns.
By Michael Finnegan
Times Staff Writer

October 3, 2005

Escalating its efforts to kill Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ballot measures, organized labor has begun pressuring California corporations to withhold donations to his campaign.

The move to cramp Schwarzenegger's fundraising for the Nov. 8 election comes as union leaders shift the focus of their aggressive television advertising. After six months of running spots that pound Schwarzenegger himself, labor has turned to ads that knock specific ballot measures pushed by the Republican governor.

The ad onslaught, aided by Schwarzenegger missteps, succeeded months ago in dragging down the governor's popularity. Yet with the start of absentee voting just a week away, it remains unclear whether labor can transform his political decline into defeat of his entire election agenda.

Labor's attack on the ballot measures reflects the challenge that unions still face in fighting Schwarzenegger's proposals.

Early polls have found three of his four initiatives falling short of a majority vote. But many voters have just begun to focus on his case against the unions. His ads have been running for just 12 days. With the campaign now fully engaged on both sides, public opinion could shift unpredictably as voters ponder each ballot proposal.

"The people opposing these initiatives are still going to have a major fight on their hands," said Jeffrey Lustig, a professor of government at Cal State Sacramento.

A key advantage for labor is money. Unions have collected more than $70 million to fight Schwarzenegger's ballot measures — more than double the $28 million raised by the governor.

To maintain that edge, labor is trying to make it more difficult for Schwarzenegger to raise money for what he once vowed would be a $50-million campaign.

In a Sept. 21 letter to executives at Chevron, Bank of America, Safeway, Hewlett-Packard and several dozen other companies, four union presidents warned that their members, as well as voters, would soon be told which corporations back Proposition 75.

Labor leaders view the initiative as a severe threat. Backed by Schwarzenegger, it would bar public employee unions from using member dues for political donations without prior consent. Unions fear it would diminish their clout in Sacramento and enhance the power of big business.

Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, said those who received the letter took it to mean unions "would somehow blacklist" the companies.

"The letter was clearly intended to intimidate businesses and threaten them," he said.

Rob Stutzman, communications director of Schwarzenegger's campaign, called the letter "complete thuggery" and predicted it would backfire. "It's the modern version of 1930s coal-strike tactics," he said.

Lou Paulson, president of California Professional Firefighters, who signed the letter, denied threatening to blacklist the companies. But he suggested that unions and their members still might shun Schwarzenegger donors and decline to buy stock in their companies.

"If somebody is doing something against you, would you want to go ahead and patronize that establishment?" he said.

In retaliation for Proposition 75, unions are working to qualify an initiative that would bar corporations from making political donations without prior shareholder approval. As major corporate shareholders, union pension funds could use that power to blunt the political influence of big business in California.

In the letter, the union presidents said they would inform members and voters of "the sources of funding behind Proposition 75." They also asked the executives whether their companies agreed with the chamber's endorsement of the measure.

The other union presidents who signed the letter were Barbara Kerr of the California Teachers Assn., Kathy Sackman of the United Nurses Assn. of California and Ron Cottingham of the Peace Officers Research Assn. of California.

So far, polls suggest that Proposition 75 is the only Schwarzenegger initiative voters support. "There's a lot of vote to pull back," and that requires the most work for labor, said union strategist Steve Smith.

With that in mind, unions began airing three ads attacking Proposition 75 last week. The spots feature a teacher, a nurse and a firefighter, respectively. Each accuses the governor of trying to stifle unions that have fought Schwarzenegger proposals, which they depict as a threat to schoolchildren, hospital patients and survivors of firefighters and police officers killed on the job.

"He's trying to weaken the voice of the men and women who protect the people of California," Long Beach firefighter Dean Tomasick says to the camera.

Unions have also begun advertising against Schwarzenegger's showcase proposal, Proposition 76, which would restrain state spending, enhance the governor's budget power and change minimum school funding rules. This week, unions plan to air TV ads against Proposition 74, his proposal to extend from two years to five the time it takes teachers to receive tenure.

The labor coalition, Alliance for a Better California, has left the job of fighting Schwarzenegger's fourth initiative, Proposition 77, to Democrats who lead the Legislature. The measure would strip state lawmakers of their power to draw political boundaries.

For unions, the task of defeating Schwarzenegger's proposals is eased substantially by the harm they have already caused him with the ads they began airing in March. His job approval rating among likely voters has sunk to a dangerously low 40% in the Field Poll and 38% in the latest Public Policy Institute of California survey.

"The unions bet their rent money at the beginning of the year, and it's paid off," said Republican strategist Dan Schnur.

Democratic strategist Garry South said union ads showing nurses, teachers and firefighters hammering Schwarzenegger have managed to "destroy his public standing so he can't sell these initiatives."

Gale Kaufman and Larry Grisolano, chief strategists of the union campaign, acknowledged the ads' impact, but said Schwarzenegger's policy choices have also hurt him.

"He brought it upon himself," Grisolano said.

But Schwarzenegger is not on the ballot in November, and advisors say his drop in popularity should not harm his initiative campaign. Stutzman said the union ads had simply "created an uncertainty in the minds of some voters about the job that the governor is doing."

"They have not successfully demonized him," Stutzman said. "Californians are not mad at Arnold Schwarzenegger. They are rooting for him. They want him to succeed. And all that goodwill that buoyed us at absurdly high approval ratings a year ago still exists as a reservoir of goodwill."

For any politician facing a well-funded rival, a sustained ad assault launched months before an election can inflict serious long-term damage.

In the 1996 presidential race, incumbent Bill Clinton began airing TV ads against presumed GOP challenger Bob Dole in June 1995 — 17 months before the election. Once Dole was "branded in a negative manner" in swing states, "it was very difficult to recover," said Dole campaign manager Scott Reed. Clinton defeated Dole, 49% to 41%.

Schwarzenegger's low standing has already forced a shift in his campaign. In previous political ads, the governor typically featured himself as chief spokesman, capitalizing on his celebrity and popularity. Now, he is running one ad starring himself and one ad featuring ordinary people — and airing the latter far more often than the former.

Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times

partners: KTLA Hoy
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:48:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FunYun1983:
WoW, can't pass 50% of a test that is 2-4 grade levels below what you are. That is sad.

My brother is going to an agricultural high school. He spends more time on a tractor than in a class room, and he still passed the MCAS (required) on his FIRST try. Just how retared are these kids?



They are not retarded.

Their "schooling" is absorbed with teaching them things like "diversity", which means that they graduate with a silly world view and no practical skills whatsoever. There is a reason why colleges and universities have to have remedial math and english programs:

The high schools are not teaching kids properly.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:49:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
The LAUSD has probably been doing just that. LAUSD doesn't have the space to put all of these students that don't pass because there are students coming up from lower grades. There is zero mechanism put in place to do something about students who don't pass. I wonder what the L.A. teachers unions and their Democratic cohorts at the state legislature and executive level going to say about this. Calif has been poring a lot of money into education without getting too much in return.



And they will continue to do more, because nobody wants to cross that group of thugs that is the NEA. Why? Because dunderheaded voters buy into their stupid ads and propoganda.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 8:17:23 AM EDT
No way I could pass the math portion.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 8:19:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FunYun1983:
WoW, can't pass 50% of a test that is 2-4 grade levels below what you are.



Have you seen the test? Some say its significantly tougher than the SAT.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 8:22:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By warlord:
The LAUSD has probably been doing just that. LAUSD doesn't have the space to put all of these students that don't pass because there are students coming up from lower grades. There is zero mechanism put in place to do something about students who don't pass. I wonder what the L.A. teachers unions and their Democratic cohorts at the state legislature and executive level going to say about this. Calif has been poring a lot of money into education without getting too much in return.



And they will continue to do more, because nobody wants to cross that group of thugs that is the NEA. Why? Because dunderheaded voters buy into their stupid ads and propoganda.


Agreed. My state assemblyman(our lower house in the state legislature) district is currently being represented by a Dem, but we was represented by a Republican in the past. We have very good high school, probably one of the better ones in Calif, yet the Dems haven't beat a path to the high school to figure out what works and what didn't. So the moral of the story in the euphemism, "we support education," actually means high teachers salaries, nothing else.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 8:37:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By FunYun1983:
WoW, can't pass 50% of a test that is 2-4 grade levels below what you are.



Have you seen the test? Some say its significantly tougher than the SAT.



Take a look at some sample questions.

Sample math question:
9. Before each game, the Harbor High Mudcats sell programs for $1 per program. To print the programs, the printer charges $60 plus $0.20 per program. How many programs does the team have to sell to make a profit of $200?
A) 250 programs
B) 300 programs
C) 325 programs
D) 350 programs

Sample English question:
2. What do the words "remain stationary" mean in the following sentence from the essay?
This marvelous engine was used for sawing wood and other tasks that required it to remain stationary, but it was mounted on wheels to propel itself from one location to another.
A) Move from one place to another
B) Stay in one place and not move
C) Move in two directions
D) Stay in more than one place

If this is harder than the SAT, the SAT is too easy.

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 8:38:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 8:47:49 AM EDT
Man you guys are a bunch of racists.

Don't you know? Those tests are not racially or culturally relevant to minorities.

That's why the failure rate is so high.

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 11:51:08 AM EDT
Maybe they, ehhh, the schools that is,,,, could just give out different diplomas.
Like, different colored diplomas, depending on the overall score the student got.
And the diplomas would be colored the percentages of the.... ...um....
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 12:49:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2005 12:49:53 PM EDT by Noname]

Originally Posted By warlord:

My daughter took this exam a ways back, and she said the students were given a passing score on the writing portion even thought the student only wrote 4 sentences. You're suppose to write a page. These passing rates are very generous to say the least, because the real score is probably way worse. My guess on the real score is probably 50% at best.





Ditto that...!
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:01:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By All_Beef_Patty:
Take a look at some sample questions.

Sample math question:
9. Before each game, the Harbor High Mudcats sell programs for $1 per program. To print the programs, the printer charges $60 plus $0.20 per program. How many programs does the team have to sell to make a profit of $200?
A) 250 programs
B) 300 programs
C) 325 programs
D) 350 programs

Sample English question:
2. What do the words "remain stationary" mean in the following sentence from the essay?
This marvelous engine was used for sawing wood and other tasks that required it to remain stationary, but it was mounted on wheels to propel itself from one location to another.
A) Move from one place to another
B) Stay in one place and not move
C) Move in two directions
D) Stay in more than one place

If this is harder than the SAT, the SAT is too easy.




People...People....look at these racist questions. EVERYONE knows that only rich white kids get to sell the expensive"Programs"....whereas blacks and other minorities are only allowed to sell " Line-Ups"

...and when was the last time you saw a brotha workin' at a sawmill, jeez.

Revised Test Question:
Jaamal jus' got 4 more rounds in his "9"...Tareese got his back wit 6 rounds left in his "Gat". How many liquor stores can they bust before the po-po does a beat down on them.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:04:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Noname:

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

By comparison, 89% of Asians and 90% of whites have passed. The report recommended that the state keep the exam but consider several alternatives for students who can't pass.




It's RACIST!!!
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:07:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:59:42 PM EDT
I don't understand what the big deal is. Granted passing a High School Exit Exam is NOT hard for Most people; in order for a High School Diploma to MEAN something, an Exam should be held.
And NOT everyone should pass it either.

What a lot of Parents and Kids don't understand is the purpose of going to School is to LEARN something.

It is clear from the Low standards and the high percentage of students FAILING an Exit Exam, that Compulsory Public Education should be optional as there are many kids who are wasting resources better spent on kids who want to LEARN and their Parents who are INVOLVED with their Children's Education.

Education after Elementary School should be optional, and Welfare programs should be eliminated.

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:03:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By natedog375:
I took that test. You'd have to be Hellen Keller to not pass.


This site is not big enough for two natedogs, now piss off!
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:29:20 PM EDT
Guys, that means JOB SECURITY!
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:30:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Guys, that means JOB SECURITY!



"Wunt fries wit' dat?"
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