Exit exam under fire

California’s exit exam could be suspended, if Democrats in the Legislature have their way. The proposal is in a budget-balancing bill.

When the state is making cuts that could lead to a shorter school year, fewer teachers and larger class sizes, it doesn’t seem realistic to expect the same results as before the cuts,” said Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Baldwin Vista (Los Angeles County), in a statement.

Dropping the exit exam doesn’t save much money, reports the Sacramento Bee.

The proposal is expected to save less than $10 million per year statewide, unless schools supplement that sum by reducing or eliminating remedial programs for low-achieving students.

In other words: Instead of giving extra help to students with poor reading and math skills, let’s just give them worthless diplomas.

Gov. Schwarzenegger says he’ll veto the provision.

About Joanne


  1. I think what they are really afraid of is that there will be no change in the exit exam results. That would be devastating to the teadchers’ unions.

  2. Rex, what if scores go up?

  3. Rick Hefter says:

    If test scores don’t change, (or, as GGW inquires…”what if scores go up?”) maybe schools could save hundreds of millions of dollars by firing 90% of the teachers and increasing the class sizes even more. In fact, a lot more money could be saved by eliminating facilities and administrators as well! Yeah, those crazy teachers’ unions…what do they know?

    Oh, Rex — have any of the teachers’ union teachers taught you to proofread? Teachers is not spelled, teadchers.

  4. This is standard California politics when it comes to education. Cut anything that’s high profile and will make news, then starve the districts for funding, but make sure no CA Dept. of Education employee *ever* loses their job. We all know that when the goal is educating students, the jobs of navel gazers in state offices should be priority number one.

  5. Rick,

    You’re lucky you can read anything I type on my hunt and peck tiny keyboard.

    Seriously, though, research has shown that class size makes no difference in test scores unless you can get the class size down below 15-17 students per teacher. There’s a lot of money to be saved by increasing class sizes from 21-24 up to 30-35. Tougher on the teacher? No doubt. But no difference to the kids. When time are tough, you’ve got to cut somewhere, and I come down on the side of the kids and taxpayers, not the teachers.

  6. One good thing about doing away with the exit exam is that it’ll stop the flow of bad news. That might be analogous to the reaction to close ones eyes just before a car crash.

  7. Ragnarok says:

    What’s sauce for the goose…

    “Teachers is not spelled, teadchers.”

    And this isn’t good English. Shouldn’t we expect more from our highly-skilled teachers?

  8. Ragnarok says:

    “Seriously, though, research has shown that class size makes no difference in test scores unless you can get the class size down below 15-17 students per teacher.”

    I thought the magic number was closer to 12.

  9. I agree with Quincy, cut the positions at the Dept of Ed in Sacramento. I am amazed at all the people who work there and all the fancy office space they have for them. I have yet to see what any of them have done for me in the classroom.

  10. I don’t see why the state doesn’t simply combine STAR Testing and the Exit Exam. Benefits:

    -Extra week of instruction
    -Makes the STAR meaningful (right now the students could care less)
    -Saves money with one test

    Am I missing something?

  11. Ragnarok says:

    “Am I missing something?”

    No, it’s a good question.

    I think you’re missing the political subtext, which is to throw a bone to the union.

  12. Even if the exit exam is no longer given to students, it should be kept around–as a replacement for the CBEST, the California Basic Educational Skills Test that every prospective teacher must take. Too many people fail the 8th grade-level CBEST, and the exit exam is slightly more rigorous.

    Imagine being a college graduate and failing a test that most high school sophomores pass on their first go-around.