Local sophomores have taken a slight dip compared to their counterparts statewide when it comes to passing the math portion of the annual state high school exit exam. Results were released Tuesday.
"We are encouraged by the increase in the number of students passing the English-language arts sub-test on their first attempt," said Ed Eldridge, Lodi Unified School District's coordinator for assessment, research and evaluation. "In fact, the 2010 school year represented the second year in a row that there was an increase in the percent of LUSD students passing this sub-test."
The exam was given earlier this year to 10th-graders in the subjects of math and English-language arts, and based on the California state standards which define what students should be learning each year.
Students must pass the California High School Exit Exam to graduate from high school. Those who do not pass the tests in 10th grade have at least five more opportunities to do so before the end of the school year. The next time it will be administered is in November.
But the test is designed so that most students should be able to pass it on their first attempt, according to local officials. In Lodi Unified, for example, 8 out of 10 first-time test takers do so, according to Eldridge.
The latest state data indicate that an increasing percentage of students statewide are passing the CAHSEE in the 10th grade, which is the first opportunity students have to take it.
Some 80.6 percent of the Class of 2012 has already passed the English-language arts portion, compared to 79.2 percent of 10th-graders in the Class of 2011.
In mathematics, the passage rate for first-time test takers in the Class of 2012 is 80.7 percent, an increase of 0.9 percent over the Class of 2011.
How do the local schools compare?
In Lodi Unified — which includes all of its high schools in both Lodi and North Stockton — the passage rate for sophomores on the math portion was 78 percent, while 79 percent aced the English language arts section. The figures were the exact opposite last year when 79 percent passed the math portion and 78, the English one.
District administrators will continue to work collaboratively with site instructional leaders and teacher professionals to raise the passage rate on the math sub-test, Eldridge said.
Comparatively, 86 percent of Lodi High School's math students passed and 87 percent of those in English-language arts. The math figures were the same in both 2008 and 2009, but this year an additional 5 percent did well on the English portion.
At Tokay High School, however, scores slipped, with only 76 percent faring well on the math portion and 75 on English. Last year, the passage rate for both subjects was 82 and 78 percent, respectively.
In addition to providing a school-by-school look, the results released Tuesday compare both ethnic and socio-economic sub-categories.
Eldridge said the district is also making progress in narrowing the persistent ethnic achievement gaps. In reviewing results for the past four years, the achievement gaps between white students and their black and Hispanic peers have narrowed in English-language Arts, he added.
"We attribute this narrowing of the gap to the dedication of our entire school community to the belief that all students can learn and be successful," he said.
What about students in Galt?
Students in the Galt Joint Union High School District had a passage rate of 83 percent in math and 81 percent in English-language arts. Like Lodi, students took one small step forward and one backward; last year's rate was 84 percent for math and 80 percent for English.
Here are how the individuals schools broke down:
- Compared to the district, Galt High School 10th-graders scored higher in English with an 84 percent passage rate, a 2 percent increase from last year's figures, but math test-takers dropped 3 percent to an 83 passage rate this year.
- Estrellita High School made a jump from last year's 31 percent passage rate in math to 38 percent, but dropped a bit to 17 percent in English-language arts. Last year, 19 percent passed. However, only 12 students took the English-language arts portion, and 13 took the math.
- And, for the first year, Liberty Ranch High School students took the exam. Those students surpassed the district's average with 87 percent acing the math portion and 82 percent English-language arts.
The school opened last school year.
Can you tell me more about this test?
The exam became a condition for graduation in California starting with the class of 2006. Those who don't pass in time to graduate with their peers can take remedial courses or enroll at community college and try again.
By the end of their senior year, approximately 94.5 percent of California's students in the Class of 2010 successfully passed both the English-language arts and mathematics portions of the CAHSEE. That's up from 90.6 percent the previous year.
For more information, or to view school, district, countywide and statewide results, visit cahsee.cde.ca.gov.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.