Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Exit Exam Blues: Waiver Dies for Special Ed Students

So much for special needs.

According to a settlement filed in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday April 4, high school seniors enrolled in special education classes will have to pass the California State High School Exit Exam (HSEE) in order to receive diplomas in June.

The settlement overturns a measure approved by the state Legislature for the classes of 2006 and 2007, exempting special education students from the HSEE and granting diplomas to all such students who had fulfilled other graduation requirements.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, author of the law which originally enacted the Exit Exam requirement, told the editorial board of the Press-Enterprise last week: "I don't want to have a devalued diploma for these folks."

"These folks"?

Certainly it's time for parents and schools to weigh the possibility of opting out where they can (with the state STAR testing program), and/or organizing collective boycotts of the HSEE.

There's safety and solidarity in numbers. For information on your rights and available resources, contact CalCARE at 510-496-6028 or FairTest.

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