California officials have reached a tentative settlement with plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit last year to stop administration of the state’s high school exit exam.
The July 19 agreement in Valenzuela v. O’Connell would require the state to pay for an additional two years of instruction for students who fail to pass the mandatory test before the end of senior year. The settlement would still require approval by the Democratic-controlled state legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican.
Last summer, a state appeals court upheld the exam, overturning a trial-court ruling that would have removed the testing requirement for the class of 2006.
Plaintiffs in the case who are students who had repeatedly failed the test, but had met other graduation requirements, had argued that students in disadvantaged communities—particularly English-language learners—do not have an equal opportunity to learn the material covered on the test.