Exit exam results available

By Nancy Gutierrez

At the Lindsay Unified School District meeting Jim Grasell, director of research and evaluation, presented the board with a report on the district results of the California High School Exit Exam.

The exam is not a graduation requirement for students graduating this year or in 2005, but the class of 2006 and every class following must pass in order to receive a diploma.

Sophomores were tested Feb. 3. In the area of English language arts students are assessed in reading writing and writing applications. Students are also tested on math strands which include, probability and statistics, number sense, algebra functions, measurement and geometry, and algebra 1. The districts report provides a demographic summary with results from students of specific genders, ethnicity, language fluency, economic standings and participation in special education. Of the 228 sophomores 141 or, 62 percent, passed the English Language arts portion of the testing. Only 59 percent male of the male population passed in comparison to 65 percent of the female population.

There was a gap in the percentage of students passing who were Hispanic, 60 percent compared to the 83 percent of white non-hispanic students. In the language fluency demographic 77 percent of English only students passed while 96 percent of redesignated Fluent English Proficient passed. Redesignated English proficient are those students who were labeled as English learners when thy first came to the district but have mastered the English language to a point.

"We only redesignate the highest achievers," Grasell said.

Only 41 percent of English learners passed the exam.

In mathematics 72 percent passed the exam. Both male and female students did equally well, 72 percent of the male student population and 71 percent of the female passed. Percentages were similar for ethnic populations as well. Of the Hispanic population, 71 percent passed, while 77 percent of the white population passed. Administrators were no doubt happy to see 100 percent of redesignated fluent English students pass the test. There were 44 students total in that category. The English only subcategory had 70 percent of its population pass while 63 percent of English learners passed. The second highest percent came from the student population that is not economically disadvantaged, 83 percent. While, 70 percent of economically disadvantaged students passed.

The results were very good," Grasell said. "Overall scores were better than the prior year."

In other business:

  • During public comment Lindsay High School senior Joseph Ross addressed the board concerning senior graduation. He read a letter from the senior class graduation planning committee asking for the board's consideration of a farewell speech that would be given after all of the names of the graduates.

    "Graduation is very anti-climactic," Ross said. "We would like a closing speech that would be down to earth and formal to provide closure to the event."

    A petition was circulated to the senior class, which 71 students signed. Ross said that administration was against the idea. Ross along with the senior class president approach principal Mike Henson about the idea. Ross said Henson was concerned with the content of the speech and the fact that it had never been done before.

    "So we come to you," Ross said. "you are our last resort."

  • The board approved a revision to policy 5131 regarding conduct and the use of cellular phones at school. The revision prohibits the use of Cellular digital telephones with still and motion capability. The change is being made because of the risk of inappropriate photos of testing material and unauthorized photos of other students being circulated via cell phone.

  • The board also approved revision on policy concerning high school graduation requirements. The revision aligns district policy with state mandates. It now states that beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, each student completing twelfth grade will have passed the sate exit exam in Language arts and math as a condition of high school graduation. The revision includes policy regarding variable credits. Variable credit will now be allowed for students who enter LUSD mid-semester. A school counselor will evaluate the entering student's transcript to provide the appropriate number of credits to be given based upon the entering grades from the previous school and percentage of term completed. students will have the opportunity to complete partial credits through programs like Cyber high or summer school among others.

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