Davis Joint Unified high school students are performing significantly better than their peers statewide when it comes to passing the state-mandated exit exam, according to recently released data from the California Department of Education.
Ninety-five percent of Davis sophomores (the class of 2014) passed the math portion of the exam during the 2011-2012 school year, while 95 percent passed the English/language arts portion. Statewide, 84 percent of sophomores passed the math portion, while 83 percent passed the English/language arts portion this past school year.
Compared to other school districts in the greater Sacramento area, Davis is at the top of the list. Roseville students were close, attaining a 93 percent pass rate in math, and 92 percent rate in English. Students in the attained an 88 percent pass rate for math, and 86 percent rate in English. And San Juan Unified students, in a close rate with the state, earned an 84 percent pass rate in math, and 85 percent rate in English. Sacramento City students were slightly below the state rate, with an 82 percent pass rate in math, and 80 percent rate in English.
The California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is administered several times throughout each year starting in grade 10. It's designed to ensure that upon graduation, students have demonstrated competency in reading, writing and math. Those who don't pass the exam as sophomores have two opportunities in grade 11 and up to five opportunities their senior year to pass.
Statewide, the number of students from the class of 2012 that passed the exit exam – 95 percent – increased slightly from the previous year, marking the sixth straight year of improving performance, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced in a news release. But given the uncertainty of education funding and cuts to public instruction in recent years, he expressed concern for future graduating classes.
"While I'm happy about the progress made by the Class of 2012, I still have concerns for the Class of 2013, the Class of 2014, and all the classes that will follow," Torlakson stated in the release. "We have made solid improvement, but schools and districts are facing some unprecedented challenges right now. Overcrowded classrooms, shorter school years, and fewer teachers are in store for us unless we stop the cuts to education funding and begin restoring some of what has been cut in recent years."
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