California should delay its exit-exam requirement for students with disabilities, recommends a draft research report that state legislators requested.
“High School Exit Examination for Pupils With Disabilities: Preliminary Report,” is posted online by the California Department of Education. ()
Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, all high school students in the state must pass the California High School Exit Exam to graduate. So far, only about 30 percent of students with disabilities who take the exam pass it on the first try, compared with 74 percent of those without disabilities, according to research conducted by the San Francisco-based WestEd, a nonprofit education research agency.
California should postpone the test for special education students for at least two years to give the state time to improve its special education offerings, the report urges, and should craft alternative assessments for students with disabilities.