Diamond Bar High School

High School Exit Exam suspended

High schools across California will be suspending the California High School Exit Exam, or CAHSEE, after the state senate voted to stop administering the test until 2019 due to its lack of alignment with the newly implemented Common Core standards.

This means that students will not have to pass the CAHSEE, a previous requirement for graduating, until a new high school exit exam is in place.

“The main thing is it doesn’t show the proficiency [of high school skills] now in this era, in the Common Core era,” Diamond Bar High School Assistant Principal John Terry said.

The CAHSEE is normally taken during a student’s sophomore year of high school and is used to determine whether or not a student has basic skills in both English and math, according to the California State Standards.

After the release of the nationwide Common Core standards; however, students can no longer be tested on the obsolete California standards.

California is still in the process of figuring out how to create a new high school exit exam that incorporates all of the new standards.

The state hopes to use other subjects such as social science in order to help supplement the new requirements of Common Core and what will be on the new exit exam.

“The CAHSEE requires an older school of thought and it probably doesn’t ask similar questions to the new style of learning that is taking place in our classrooms,” Diamond Bar Instructional Dean Matt Brummett said.

Due to the lengthy process that may come with creating a new test, the time frame is not set in stone. Finding the right people for a committee, coming up with an exam that is applicable to the Common Core Standards, and publishing the test will take time.

There is no precise date as to whether or not there will be a new test made by the time the three year suspension is over.

“It could be as soon as next year or it could be a couple of years down the road. There is a protocol for that,” Terry said.

It is unclear if a different exit exam will be provided during the suspension of the CAHSEE to gauge high school competency.

Whether or not it will be attached to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test, administered in the spring, depends on what the governor of California will do concerning the topic.

“You want to make sure whatever assessment that you’re going to use to judge proficiency in high school is aligned to your current standards,” Terry said.

–Emily Kim

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