District adopts its own HS exit exam

By Nancy Gutierrez

LHS is the only school in Tulare County with it's own high school exit exam.

"The goal is to learn and learn well," Superintendent Janet Kliegl said. "In high school the reality is there is no grade level, there is an attainment level."

At the Lindsay Unified School District Board meeting Monday Nov. 10, the board approved the adoption of the Northwest Evaluation Assessments as the high school graduation requirement for the classes of 2004 and 2005. In July, the California State Board of Education voted to delay the implementation of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) as a graduation requirement until the class of 2006. Many students at Lindsay High School had already passed or were working to pass the test at the time of the decision to delay. Administration at LHS recommended that the Northwest Evaluation Assessment be utilized as the measure of proficiency for a LUSD Exit Exam.

The NWEA offers computerized testing for students in seventh through 12th grade, in language reading and math. LHS just completed a round of testing through the NWEA. For three days students took computerized tests created by the NWEA. School officials received the students scores within 48 hours which allowed for a quicker evaluation of how the students are progressing.

Recently the NWEA completed a project to connect the CAHSEE to the NWEA scales. The correlation indicated appropriate cut points on the NWEA for each subject area. Students must reach these points in order to pass the exam.

The exit requirement also has a writing component similar to the existing component for ninth and 10th grade students.

A 10 percent accommodation was proposed for RSP students if their individual experience program identifies a disability in either math or language arts and the student is receiving such accommodation in their regular coursework.

"We need accurate measurements for students to identify benchmarks," LHS Principal Mike Henson said. "We are testing juniors who haven't passed the exit exam."

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