Press Release

OAKLAND, CA (August 24, 2011) The Education Trust—West issued the following statement in response to the release of the 2011 California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) results today:

The Education—Trust West is encouraged by some of the results of the 2011 California High School Exit Exam. More students than ever are passing the CAHSEE by twelfth grade, with all groups of students passing at higher rates. In particular, passing rates for African-American students have increased more than any other group. The percentage of African-American students passing the CAHSEE has steadily increased since 2006 by 7.2 percentage points for an overall rate of 91 percent. Latino and economically disadvantaged students are passing the CAHSEE by their senior year at similar rates.

However troubling gaps remain, in particular for English Learners. Only 82 percent of English Learners in the class of 2011 passed the CAHSEE. In addition, gaps remain among first-time test-takers in tenth grade. Just 53 percent of African-American and 60 percent of Latino tenth graders passed the test on their first attempt, compared with 86 percent of Asian students and 83 percent of White students.

These results offer direct evidence that far too many Latino and African-American students are not being adequately prepared to pass the CAHSEE in their first attempt. Based on these results, it is clear that our state and school district leaders must prioritize the needs of our low-income students and students of color by ensuring that they have the additional supports and instructional time they need to succeed. We call on district leaders to avoid additional cuts to vital student supports, such as after-school and summer school programs, and urge state leaders to prevent districts from shortening the academic school year and cutting critical learning time.

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 About The Education Trust—West

The Education Trust—West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps.