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Lodi, Galt sophomores remain behind state average in high school exit exam passage rate

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“We will continue to improve these scores as the Common Core is implemented, and as the accountability model changes.”

— Matthew Roberts, Superintendent, Galt Joint Union High School District

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 11:36 am | Updated: 6:47 am, Fri Aug 30, 2013.

Most Lodi Unified School District students in the Class of 2015 who took the California High School Exit Exam for the first time have seen a steady increase in their passage rates, but are still falling short of the state average of 96 percent — the highest rate since the test was made a graduation requirement. Numbers are in the mid-80s range for both Lodi and Galt students.

The test was administered during the 2012-13 school year to 10th-graders in the subjects of math and English-language arts. Questions are based on the California state standards, which define what students should be learning each year. Results were released Thursday.

The exit exam is given to ensure that students who graduate from public high schools demonstrate competency in reading, writing and mathematics. Students who do not pass it in their sophomore year have two opportunities as juniors and up to five opportunities as seniors to try again.

The Lodi Unified School District improved by 3 percentage points over 2012 in math. Eighty-four percent of Lodi Unified sophomores passed the math test. However, in English-language arts, the districtwide score went down by 2 percent, to 79 percent.

Lodi High School scored exactly the same in math — 85 percent — in 2013 as it did the previous year, but only 79 percent of sophomores passed the exit exam in English-language arts this year. That’s a drop of 4 percent from 2012.

Tokay High School improved in both subject categories, but fell short of the state average. In math, 83 percent of Tokay sophomores passed the exam, up 3 percent from 2012. In English-language arts, Tokay crept up from 78 percent last year to 79 percent in 2013.

Lodi High Principal Bob Lofsted said he expects the exit exam drop in English-language arts to be an anomaly.

“Based upon the way last year’s freshmen class tested in English-language arts, I would anticipate that as sophomores they will push the (exit exam) scores back closer to a historically more typical 85 percent or better,” Lofsted said in an email.

Galt students showed little to no improvement in this year’s passage rates compared to last year’s. In fact, English-language arts scores have decreased steadily over the last three years, from the Class of 2013’s 84 percent passage rate to 81 percent for the class of 2015.

Math scores remained the same districtwide from last year at 83 percent, down from 87 percent two years ago.

Superintendent Matthew Roberts of the Galt Joint Union High School District pointed out that the rates here are for first-time test takers.

“We will continue to improve these scores as the Common Core is implemented, and as the accountability model changes,” he said of new statewide curriculum.

Still, the scores are slightly better than their counterparts countywide. Sacramento County sophomores passed at an 82 percent rate in math and 81 percent in English.

Galt High School students, specifically, did better on the math portion, with 86 percent passing; 80 percent passed the English-language arts portion, down from last year’s 83 percent.

Liberty Ranch High School students were in line with the district, with 83 percent passing both the math and English-language arts portions.

Eighty-six percent of the school’s Class of 2014 passed the math portion, and 83 percent passed English-language arts.

Too few Estrellita Continuation High School students took the exam for the state to report figures.

School, district, county and state-level results for the exam — which is one of several graduation requirements for all students — can be found at cahsee.cde.ca.gov.

Contact reporters Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com and Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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