Nearly 42,000 seniors will not be eligible for a diploma after failing the California High School Exit Exam
Some of those students lack enough credits for a diploma. However, from 9,000 to 22,000 students will not graduate with their class solely because of the test, according to a state Department of Education estimate.
At Richmond High, a brick compound in the heart of what is known as the state's most dangerous city, nearly a third of the 346 students in the class of 2006 stumbled over the test, having to take it more than once. Paul Ehara, West Contra Costa school district spokesman, said 66 of them will not receive diplomas because of the exam.
"It is a very different graduation," said counselor Carlos Taboada.
As tensions rose throughout the year, the campus morphed into the epicenter of the ongoing fight over the exit exam. Five Richmond seniors formed a core group of plaintiffs who sued the state and California Superintendent of Schools Jack O'Connell over the test in February.
Three named in the complaint -- Valenzuela, Mayela Barragan and honor student Laura Echavarria -- fell short on the exam. Plaintiffs Mayra Ibanez and honor student Noemi Cervantes have since passed it and dropped out of the suit, said Jessica Miller, spokeswoman for law firm Morrison & Foerster, which filed the complaint.
California High School Exit Exam - Sample Questions
WHY THE CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAM WORKS
High school exit exam is necessary
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Thousands of California high school seniors fail required exit exam
A puzzling legacy