Soon thereafter, the Legislature abolished the exit exam as a graduation requirement.
But it did so for only three years — through the current school year — to give the state time to decide whether to replace it with another test more aligned with California’s current academic standards.
The Hum RRO evaluation concluded that “that there is some evidence from our prior analyses that the CAHSEE requirement has prevented or delayed between 1 and 4 percent of seniors from graduating.” Based on that estimate, between 37,695 and 150,780 students would have been denied a high school diploma solely because of the exam since it became a graduation requirement in 2006.
What also was not anticipated was the test’s disproportionate impact on English learners.
Many students who pass the CHSPE continue to attend school.
State law provides that, if you leave school after passing the CHSPE and are no more than eighteen years old, you may reenroll in the district in which you were registered with no adverse consequences.
California is not alone in abandoning its high school exit exam.
In 2013-14, some 24 states had an exit exam or graduation test of some kind. During the time it was in place, some 5 million California students took the test.
They were supposed to get help taking it, including being provided with glossaries in their native languages, as well as translators should they need them.
But Hum RRO evaluators observed that at times neither glossaries nor translators were available for students.