Exit exam axed for special ed students

Special education students won’t have to pass an exit exam to get a high school diploma in California under a budget deal cut by legislators.  Some Democrats had wanted to drop the exam for all students.

Parents of special education students are divided on the issue, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Some say their children are just as smart as nondisabled students and should not be held to lower standards. However, others argue the test is unfair for kids with certain disabilities who repeatedly failed the test and were consequently denied a high school diploma.

California’s exam is a four-option multiple-choice test that requires a 60 percent score to pass the English Language Arts and 55 percent for the math portion. The hardest questions cover 10th-grade English and eighth-grade math, which includes algebra.  By guessing on the harder questions, students with middle-school English skills and elementary math skills should be able to pass.

Students who pass their courses but can’t pass the exam can be offered a completion certificate or a “special” diploma. Most special education students can pass the exam — in the San Jose area, nearly half pass on their first try in 10th grade. To offer them an easier alternative does them no favors.

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  1. I disagree with you on this one as I think it depends on the special education student. My younger brother could never pass a 10th Language Arts test nor could he have passed an 8th grade Algebra test. That being said, he worked very hard to do the classes he could do in high school. He met the requirements he needed to meet in order to earn his diploma. Those requirements certainly were not the same requirements that I needed to meet as a high school student, however, I can tell you that he did what he need to do in order to earn it.

    I understand that some students in Special Ed classes may have the potential to pass the high school exit exam. They should be able to take the exit exam if they so choose, but those who cannot should not be penalized.