SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

PRESS RELEASE

 

CONTACT:  Maureen Bradford                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 333                                      01 SEP 2009

 

 

INCREASE IN CAHSEE PASSAGE RATES FOR SMMUSD

 

The California Department of Education released today the 2009 results of the 10th grade California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).  Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District reached an all-time high in 2009, with 92% of first time test takers passing the English Language Arts (ELA) exam, and 92% passing the mathematics portion of the test.       

 

As seen below, SMMUSD continues to outpace the state and county in CAHSEE passage rates.  Across the state, the percentage of 10th graders passing the mathematics exam increased to 80%, a gain of two percentage points over 2008.  SMMUSD gained one percentage point, posting a 92% passage rate.  For English Language Arts, SMMUSD also reached an all-time high of 92%, while statewide the 2009 ELA passage rate remained flat at 79%.

 

 

Table 1.  Percentage of 10th Graders Passing CAHSEE Math Exam

 

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

SMMUSD

89

88

89

90

91

92

LA County

68

68

70

70

74

77

Statewide

74

74

76

76

78

80

 

 

Table 2.  Percentage of 10th Graders Passing CAHSEE ELA Exam

 

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

SMMUSD

91

89

90

90

91

92

LA County

70

72

74

73

76

77

Statewide

75

75

72

77

79

79

 

 

“It is rewarding to see continued progress toward our goal of a 100% passage rate for all 10th graders,” remarked Tim Cuneo, SMMUSD Superintendent.  “We are pleased to see so many of our students passing this exam on their first try and will continue to provide additional support and tutoring for students who need to re-take the exam in the 11th or even 12th grade.  Each of the district’s high schools have CAHSEE tutoring programs in place and students will have several additional opportunities to re-take the CAHSEE in November, March, May, and/or July.  We are determined to see that all of our students meet the CAHSEE requirement prior to their graduation date.”

 

Disaggregated CAHSEE data demonstrate a narrowing of the achievement gap in 10th grade passage rates in math for several of the district’s numerically significant groups of students.  Over the past five years, SMMUSD has narrowed the gap significantly for students of color, economically disadvantaged students, English learners, and students with disabilities.

 

Efforts to narrow the gap in ELA passage rates have yielded less dramatic results.  There is still great concern over the ELA passage rates for African American students.  Peggy Harris, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, commented, “It is unacceptable to us as a school district to see that approximately one quarter of 10th grade African American students did not pass the English language arts section of the CAHSEE.  It is deeply troubling to realize that this year’s passage rate is essentially the same as it was four years ago.  The English language arts performance profile of our African American students reveals that there is still much work that must be done to ensure that all students leave our schools with strong literacy skills.  We anticipate that newly adopted language arts materials and professional development associated with the adoption will provide teachers with additional tools for this critical work.”

 


Table 3.  Grade 10 CAHSEE Math Passage Rates for Numerically Significant Groups

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Gains

08-09

Gains

05-09

African American

68

76

72

73

80

+7

+12

Asian

97

100

97

97

96

-1

-1

Latino

75

78

78

82

89

+7

+14

White

97

96

98

98

95

-3

-2

Economically Disadvantaged

75

77

77

80

89

+9

+14

English Learner

68

66

69

70

80

+10

+12

Students with Disabilities

40

51

60

58

69

+11

+19

 

Table 4.  Grade 10 CAHSEE ELA Passage Rates for Numerically Significant Groups

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Gains

08-09

Gains

05-09

African American

77

81

75

73

74

+1

-3

Asian

99

89

95

93

95

+2

-4

Latino

78

80

79

84

86

+2

+8

White

97

96

97

97

97

0

0

Economically Disadvantaged

76

77

76

84

82

-2

+6

English Learner

62

62

69

60

68

+8

+6

Students with Disabilities

51

52

53

52

62

+10

+11

 

Background on CAHSEE

The California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is an important component of both state and federal accountability for student achievement. In addition to the use of the CAHSEE as a graduation requirement, the 10th grade CAHSEE results are used in calculating the Academic Performance Index for state accountability purposes and Adequate Yearly Progress to meet federal No Child Left Behind requirements.

 

The CAHSEE has two parts: English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The ELA portion addresses state content standards through grade ten.  In reading, this includes vocabulary, decoding, comprehension, and analysis of information and literary texts. In writing, the exam covers writing strategies, applications, and the conventions of English (e.g. grammar, spelling, and punctuation). The mathematics portion of the CAHSEE addresses state standards in grades six and seven and Algebra I. The exam includes statistics, data analysis and probability, number sense, measurement and geometry, mathematical reasoning, and algebra. Students are also asked to demonstrate a strong foundation in computation and arithmetic, including working with decimals, fractions, and percents.

 

Students are afforded several opportunities to take the CAHSEE exams, beginning in their 10th grade year. Students who do not pass as 10th graders have two opportunities to re-take the exam in grade 11 and several more opportunities in grade 12.   12th graders, who have not passed by their graduation date, are offered an additional exam in July and may continue to receive tutoring, support and opportunities to re-take the exam for up to two years beyond their graduation date. 

 

As of 2006, all of California’s public high school students had to pass both portions of the CAHSEE in order to receive a high school diploma. While in 2006 and 2007 students with disabilities were granted an exemption from the CAHSEE requirement, in 2008 and 2009 this exemption was no longer available. Students with disabilities, based on their IEP provisions, have been afforded modifications or accommodations on the CAHSEE.  Modifications, however, nullified a student’s score.   Students who received a passing score using IEP prescribed modifications were provided with a waiver by the Board, and thus considered meeting the CAHSEE requirement.

 

For 2010, new legislation has lifted the CAHSEE graduation requirement for students with disabilities. All students, however, must still take the CAHSEE during their 10th grade year for API and AYP accountability purposes.

 

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SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138

www.smmusd.org