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High School Drop-Out Rates Down

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Fewer teenagers are dropping out of school since the California High School Exam was established. That’s one of the findings in an independent report about how the test is used and its impact on students. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

The report indicates 86 percent of high school sophomores became seniors last school year. That’s up by four percent since 2002. Critics thought the opposite would happen, and that the exam would actually discourage teens from staying in school. State School Superintendent Jack O’Connell says programs for at-risk students are helping to get better test results.

O’Connell: We’ve been able to shed a light on those students that are lagging behind their peers. We’ve been able to do before school programs, after school programs, intersession programs. So we’re being able to connect with more of these students.

However, the report finds nearly 40,000 seniors did not pass the exit exam in time for a June graduation. About 91 percent of the Class of 2006 has passed the exam. Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

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