FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2015
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Educational Accountability Takes a Hit in the State Senate
SACRAMENTO: The State Senate yesterday took a step backwards in educational accountability, with the majority party voting to eliminate California’s high school exit exam (CAHSEE). SB 172 (D-Liu) passed on a 23-13 vote, with no Republicans voting yes.
The CAHSEE was implemented in 1999 as a means of ensuring students had grasped the educational basics before graduating. SB 172 would eliminate the CAHSEE – ostensibly because it’s out of alignment with Common Core standards – and set up an advisory panel to provide recommendations on how to update the test. However, eliminating the test with nothing to replace it is hasty and will result in students graduating from high school without knowing that they are properly prepared for college and a career.
Excerpts from Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff’s (R-San Dimas) speech to keep CAHSEE in place:
“Governor Gray Davis touted (CAHSEE) as the cornerstone of educational achievement. Now we want to remove this standard because the test has not been updated for alignment with the Common Core Standards and is therefore outdated. Are we trying to teach a test or are we trying to teach a student that can figure out some basics? Because that’s what (CAHSEE) tests, basics.”
“And we would create an advisory panel to provide recommendations? Folks, it’s going to be studied to death, it will be killed and in the meantime our diploma will mean pretty much nothing. … until we come up with a replacement, let’s not set up another advisory panel to make a recommendation that will not be adopted.”
The full Senate is meeting each day this week to hear and vote on bills and resolutions that must pass the Senate and be sent to the Assembly by June 5, this year’s “house of origin” deadline.