Can’t Read, Write Or Do Math? No Problem- Here’s Your Diploma!


Liberals in the California Legislature are continuing their war on the High School Exit Exam. They claim that test is unfair to minority and low-income students.

How fair is it to send these students into the world not being able to read, write or do math at a 10th grade level?

The Los Angles Times reports that legislative Democrats and political activists are once again mounting an attack on the High School Exit Exam.

Momentum is growing to provide alternatives to California’s controversial high school exit exam, which critics say contributes to low graduation rates and discriminates against minority students.

But not everyone agrees that this is the case.

An independent analysis of California’s exam found that dropout rates decreased after it was originally introduced for the Class of 2004. But researcher Lauress L. Wise cautioned that the exit exam could be one of many contributing factors.

“What I would conjecture, based on interviews with school principals, is that there is a lot more attention being paid to students at the margins,” said Wise, president of the nonprofit research think tank Human Resources Research Organization in suburban Washington.

“It may be that this increased attention … is keeping [them] in school longer,” Wise added.

Others have found that repeating a grade in middle school or high school is a better predictor of whether a student will drop out because of the stigma associated with being held back.

If a high school diploma is going to mean anything in the real world, it is important to set standards for students to obtain one. It is equally crucial that we provide a measuring stick to ensure that students are meeting those standards. This is the best way to be assured that our youth are academically prepared for an increasingly competitive job market.

As usual, liberals are more concerned with student’s “feelings” than whether or not they are equipped for the future.

I’m very concerned that students will be discouraged and [question] why they should go forward if their futures rest on one exam,” Assemblywoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) said before the vote, which fell largely along party lines.

“I’ve already seen it demoralizing the ones who haven’t passed,” said Elizabeth Minster, a teacher at Los Angeles High School and a leader of Coalition for Educational Justice, a grass-roots Los Angeles group.

I wonder how these students are going to “feel” when they can’t get a job because they can’t read or write at a 10th grade level? Or do math at an 8th grade level?

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Craig DeLuz

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