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Why the California High School Exit Exam Works - Article Review

Essay by   •  July 18, 2011  •  Article Review  •  800 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,980 Views

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In the article, "Why the California High School Exit Exam Works," Jack O' Connell discusses the importance of the CAHSEE. He argues that the exam is crucial to young teens/adults that are stepping out of their comfort zones and into the harsh reality of today. Before this exam was ever introduced, many students were able to skim by all four years of high school and still walk away with a diploma. However, according to statistics, fore-mentioned practice has gone on far too long and O'Connell felt that he needed to discontinue it. According to research and data, the high school exit exam seems to be doing what O'Connell had promised and as a result, the passing rate has narrowed significantly. On the other hand, I disagree with O'Connell that in order to survive the competitive global economy of the future, students must acquire the skills necessary marked by the California High School Exit Exam. Students should have an opportunity to submit written work and portfolios to feature their other positive work and for many students, the exam can become an obstacle that could take several years to accomplish. I believe that using the exit exam as an aid for how well a student might do in the future would be sufficient, however withholding a diploma based on the score of the exam should be prohibited.

The California High School Exit Exam was introduced to raise the teaching standards for students throughout the California School District. However, if many students are struggling with this test and are missing the gratifying acceptance of their diploma by a slim margin, then other factors should be taken into consideration such as past written work and portfolios. Some students have trouble with the exit exam on the basis that they're poor test takers. I can easily relate to students like these because I, myself need to focus more on exams in order to ensure a passing grade. I remember a time when my final grade for Algebra depended on my crucial final exam score. At the end of the grading period, I realized that the 65 percent I scored on the test yielded me to a 69.98 percent in the class. Fortunately, the teacher understood the situation and took into consideration the work ethic and effort that I put forth in class and bumped my grade to a passing C-. From that day on, I learned that test scores will never mean everything.

Some people might argue the CAHSEE is a necessity for students to be successful in the future of tomorrow, however what good can this exam be if it takes some students years to pass it? Before this exam was introduced, past generations were dealing with the global economy with enough knowledge to be successful in their careers. All the CAHSEE has accomplished is raising the stress and worries of parents across California. Throughout my life, I have discovered that people deserve second chances. Whether,



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