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Calif. Exit Exam Numbers Up

— Seventy-nine percent of San Diego Unified 10th graders passed the English portion of the 2009 California High School Exit Exam, while 81 percent passed the math section, up slightly from the previous year, state education officials announced today.

The percentage of SDUSD 10th graders passing the English language arts section of the exit exam rose from 77 percent to 79 percent, and the pass rate for math increased from 77 percent to 81 percent, according to the California Department of Education.

Statewide, 79 percent of 10th graders passed the English portion of the exit exam, while 80 percent passed the math section.

Also, 90.6 percent of seniors from the class of 2009 passed the overall exam in the state, up slightly from 90.4 percent the previous year, according to the CDE. The overall pass rates for the 2009 graduating class for individual districts will not be available until the fall.

All students in California must take the exit exam during their sophomore year. They have two more opportunities to pass it in the 11th grade and three chances as seniors.

"I am pleased to see that these results show that California's high school students are continuing to meet the challenge of higher expectations," said Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of public instruction. "It is vitally important that young people know and understand the subject matter tested on the high school exit exam whether they are heading to college or directly into the workforce.

"The CAHSEE helps us ensure that each student is prepared with the critical basic skills needed for future success," O'Connell said.

An agreement between the governor and the Legislature reached during the state budget impasse suspended the exit exam as a graduation requirement for students with disabilities, a move that O'Connell called "irresponsible and shortsighted."

The class of 2006 was the first graduating class in California that was required to meet the exit exam requirement.

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