Wednesday, May 24, 2006

California High School Exit Exam Reinstated By State Supreme Court

In what I can only describe as a win for education and for the rule of law, the state supreme court has apparently ruled that the CAHSEE is a valid exercise of the legislature's authority--and the requirement to pass it in order to get a diploma has been reinstated, sort of.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, a Democrat I can vote for, has issued this statement.

It's not a done deal yet, as the major Sacramento newspaper reports:

On May 12, Alameda Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman suspended the graduation requirement for the Class of 2006, saying California was ill-equipped "to adequately prepare students to take the exam," especially in poor, underfunded areas of the state.

The high court stayed that ruling and ordered the 1st District Court of Appeal to hear the case, but did not say when - leaving students who failed the test in a state of legal limbo.

Unless the Court of Appeals drops everything and decides this issue within the next couple weeks, students who have not passed the test will not graduate. That's about 10% of this year's graduating class statewide, believe it or not.

So, it looks like there's going to be more hearings on the matter. But the Supreme Court did its job in this case, and it was definitely the right decision for education.


Darren said...

Maintaining high academic standards is the most important thing the SPI can do. O'Connell is doing so against his own party, showing integrity and commitment to the goal. Barring some impressively stupid move on his part, or E.D. Hirsch's running for SPI, O'Connell gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

Tell me again . . . how are the exit exam and high standards related? Re-instating the exit exam is a victory for not rewarding utter incompetence, but it in no way promotes high standards.


Darren said...

Dan, tell that to the 10% of the Class of 2006 who didn't pass!

I agree with you, of course, about the exit exam. However, O'Connell's been there on not watering down the English/Language Arts standards for English Learners. Have you read the ELA standards? They're fairly rigorous, as are the math standards.

Now bite me :-)

Andrew Purvis said...

What happens next is key. I believe that parents, scared into submission, will begin to take a larger role in their childrens' education. After three years of delays, it's about time this had some teeth, though I am having a tough time seeing how this is in any way partisan.

Darren said...

It's only partisan because demagogic Democrats pander to minorities, who, unfortunately, are more likely to fail the test than their percentages in the population.

Did I just discover the root word for "Democrats"? =)