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Education Leader Optimistic About H.S. Exit Exam in 2007

State School Superintendent Jack O'Connell expects more legal challenges next year as thousands of teenagers face the controversial California High School Exit Exam. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

O'Connell lists the state's high school exit exam as his top accomplishment of 2006. He says that's partly because the state won a series of legal challenges that threatened to keep the test from taking effect. This was the first year high school seniors had to pass the math and reading portions of the test in order to graduate. But O'Connell expects lawyers to challenge the exam again this year. O'Connell says he's prepared to defend the test when that happens. 

O'Connell: I'm pleased thus far that we've been able to prevail. This is a capstone of our accountability system, and one that I believe is really vital.

O'Connell says more students in the Class of 2007 have passed mock exit exams compared to the Class of 2006. That's why he expects a higher passing rate next year. Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

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