Scores continue to rise for state test
by Maddy Houk
Aug 30, 2012 | 955 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
California High School Exit Exam scores at Patterson High School have increased steadily in the past three years, though they remain slightly below county and state scores, according to a state Department of Education report revealed last week.

Eighty percent of Patterson High sophomores passed the math portion of the CAHSEE, as the test is known, during the 2011-12 school year, while 82 percent passed the English language arts portion.

By contrast, 82 percent of students countywide passed the math portion and 80 percent passed in English language arts. Statewide, 84 percent of students passed in math and 83 percent passed in English language arts.

Veronica Miranda, the assistant superintendent of educational services for the Patterson Joint Unified School District, said the district sets out to help those who need it.

“We continue to offer different types of interventions so that our students can pass the CAHSEE exam,” Miranda said. “Our school staff is dedicated in providing the students the support they need to achieve this goal.”

Students who do not pass the exit exam during their sophomore year of high school can try again during their junior and senior years. Seniors who do not pass the test but complete all other graduation requirements receive a certificate of completion instead of a high school diploma.

Local juniors and seniors who have not yet passed the exam can take extra classes and can meet with their counselors for help. School counselors also meet with parents to stress the importance of their children passing the test.

A special test-preparation boot camp is open to Patterson seniors. That class highlights the components of the test and pushes the students to succeed in passing the exam and graduate with diplomas.

The percentage of Patterson High sophomores who passed the exam climbed from 75 percent in math and 77 percent in English three years ago to 80 and 82 percent respectively in 2011-12.

Reclassified Fluent English Proficient Students — students who grew up speaking another language and who studied to reach proficiency in English — actually bested all other testing groups of 10th graders, with 93 percent passing math and 99 percent passing the English portion of the test.

Those students have already met the state’s criteria to move from English learners to English proficient on various state tests, according to Miranda.

“The reason that our Reclassified Fluent English Proficient Students do so well is because they’ve already demonstrated proficiency on the California English Development Test and the California Standards Test,” Miranda said.

Among students who are still considered English learners, 61 percent passed the math portion of the exit exam and 56 percent passed the English portion.

Eighteen percent of Patterson High’s special-education students passed in math and 36 percent passed in English. Special-education students with disabilities can apply for a waiver for the test.

Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.

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