It’s the ultimate participation trophy. Except in this case, the majority of the recipients won’t have participated, and many won’t even have shown up.
The state of California is poised to award thousands of high school degrees to dropouts by passing a new law retroactively removing the requirement to pass a high school exit exam.
The California High School Exit Exam (CASHEE) was created in 2004, and is intended to make sure that students have a rudimentary grasp of English and mathematics before being awarded a high school diploma, and to counter the phenomenon of students receiving passing grades while learning almost nothing. The test is hardly complex. The math test, for instance, only covers 8th grade-level material and can be passed if students answer 55% of questions correctly. About 80% of California high schoolers take and pass it on their first try while in the 10th grade, and overall passage rates for the class of 2014 were above 97%.
But now, a bill passed Thursday by the California legislature, which Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign, suspends the exam through 2018, while also retroactively suspending it back to 2004.
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