Support for SB 172 (Liu) Pupil Testing: High School Exit Examination Suspension


RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) support SB 172 (Liu) Pupil testing: high school exit examination suspension, which would temporarily remove the high school exit examination as a condition of high school graduation for the academic years 2015-2016 through 2017-2018; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Chancellor, CSU Board of Trustees, CSU campus Presidents, CSU campus Senate Chairs, Senator Carol Liu, Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins, Senator Kevin de León, and Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

RATIONALE: Since 2006, California high school students have been required to take and pass the California High School Exit Examination, or CAHSEE, in order to receive a high school diploma. The exam, which assesses proficiency in English language arts and mathematics was aligned with learning goals adopted by the state in 1999. Recently, however, a number of developments have raised questions as to whether the continued use of the CAHSEE is desirable at this time. First, with California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards in 2010, the exam is no longer aligned with current high school curricula. Second, disparate exam pass rates among various subgroups (especially the low pass rate of 67% for students with disabilities) suggests there may be problems with the exam’s usefulness in assessing the performance of all student populations. Third, the state’s contract with the Educational Testing Service, which administers the exam, expires at the end of 2015, after which date the exam will no longer be available. Furthermore, it creates uncertainty relative to CSU admission of otherwise eligible students.

This bill would suspend the requirement that California high school students pass the CAHSEE as a condition for receiving a high school diploma for the next three academic years, 2015-2016 through 2017-2018, or as long as the exam remains unavailable. During this period the Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to convene an advisory panel to develop recommendations on (1) continuation of the high school exit examination and on (2) alternate pathways to graduation. These recommendations are to be presented to the State Board of education in March 2016.


    Approved Unanimously  September 4, 2015



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