State budget crisis
Exit exam on chopping block
Legislation approved Tuesday by the Legislative Budget Conference Committee to eliminate the California High School Exit Exam that is expected to go to both houses of the legislature early next week, is eliciting alarm from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell.
O’Connell asked the committee to revisit “this ill conceived decision” and called the action a huge setback for California students.
“The implementation of the California High School Exit Exam is the greatest high school reform effort we have made in a generation. The argument that our expectations should be lowered because of budget cuts to public education, heaps insult on injury to students and teachers who are being impacted by the budget crisis.”
Eliminating the exam is projected to save the state an estimated $8 million, according to the superintendent’s office.
According to O’Connell’s office, if the proposal passes, the exit exam would no longer count as a graduation requirement, but would continue to be administered to sophomores, because it is part of California’s adherence to the Federal No Child Left Behind accountability standards.
The exit exam has remained a controversial test since it was initially proposed.
A recent report by Stanford University researchers found the exit exam has been detrimental to low-achieving minorities and female students and resulted in nearly 20,0000 youngsters in the classes of 2006 and 2007 not graduating.
The California Department of Education (CDE), led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, released California’s 2009-10 Accountability Progress Report (APR), Monday and the scores demonstrate some progress but not enough.
The APR provides results from the state accountability system, the Academic Performance Index (API), and federal accountability system, which consists of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and Program Improvement, (PI) status.
Sacramento, CA – The State Board of Education (SBE) voted 9-0 on Monday to create an African American Advisory Committee (AAAC). The SBE discussed the need to establish this committee to help better understand the issues concerning the achievement gap that exists between African American students and their counterparts.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A Los Angeles-area wildfire exploded from 10 acres to 10,000 acres in about 25 hours and threatened 4,000 homes Friday afternoon, fire authorities said.
The fire, which began Thursday morning, damaged 15 homes,15 outbuildings and five commercial properties, but none were destroyed and no one had been injured, authorities said.
Authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation Friday afternoon for the affluent Ventura County community of Hidden Valley, northwest of Los Angeles, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The high school graduation rate in Los Angeles County for the 2011-12 school year was 74.7 percent, with a dropout rate of 14.9 percent, according to figures released today by the state Department of Education.
The graduation rate was up from 73.7 percent from the previous year, while the dropout rate dipped from 16.7 percent, according to the state.
The spread of the flu across the United States appears to have slowed in some areas, but officials won’t know for weeks whether the outbreak has peaked. According to reports by the Centers for Disease Control, the only states that aren’t reporting widespread flu activity are California, Hawaii, and Mississippi.
“Widespread” means that more than 50 percent of geographic regions in a state—counties, for example—are reporting flu activity. The term addresses the spread of the flu, not its severity.