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County’s kids shine on exit exam

Two-thirds of Nevada County’s high school juniors have already passed the test required to get a high school diploma in California.

And county students continue to pass the state’s high school exit exam at a higher rate than their peers statewide.

In 2001, the first year the California High School Exit Exam was administered to the class of 2004, 81 percent of Nevada Joint Union High School District’s freshmen passed the English portion of the test, compared to 66 percent statewide. Sixty-seven percent of NJUHSD students passed the math portion, versus 40 percent statewide.



Results for the exam this year showed that 40 percent of Nevada County’s high school students passed the math section, versus 32 percent statewide.

In English and language arts, 66 percent of county high school students passed; 54 percent statewide passed this year.




“Obviously, compared to the state, we’re far superior, but there’s always room to grow,” said Stan Miller, assistant superintendent of curriculum in the county schools office.

Beginning with the class of 2004, high school students must pass the test to get a high school diploma, said Lily Roberts, lead consultant for the high school exit exam office in the state Department of Education.

Of the 1,111 NJUHSD students in the class of 2004 – today’s juniors – 89.9 percent passed the English part, and 76.4 percent passed the math portion. Sixty-six percent have passed both portions, which means they will not have to take the test again.

The 378 students who haven’t passed one or both parts are taking it again in November, Green said.

In March, whoever flunked the test will take it again, as well as all of the district’s sophomores, a class of 1,097 right now.

“We have very few English language learners, which is very unusual in the state,” said Mary Green, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum.

“Both of the math and English/language arts tests require students to read at grade level and to understand what they’re reading. Student learning English are at a disadvantage.”

Tenth-graders take the test in the spring, as do students in subsequent classes who did not pass one or both tests. Students have a total of seven chances to pass both segments of the test: three chances a year in 11th grade, three chances in 12th grade and one after the 12th grade, Roberts said.

HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAM RESULTS

High School Subject # of students %who passed # tested in 2001 % passed in 2002

tested in 2002 in 2002

Statewide: Math 248,328 32% 369,968 64%

English 182,515 54% 365,325 44%

Districtwide: Math 348 40% 1,063 67%

NJUHS English 232 66% 1,062 81%

Nevada Union Math 179 42% 704 71%

English 117 67% 704 82%

Bear River Math 89 40% 299 67%

English 34 82% 301 87%

Silver Springs Math 21 10% 23 4%

English 20 30% 21 33%

Sierra Mountain Math 18 56% 7 NA*

English 13 87% 7 NA*

Earle Jamieson Math 6 Not available* 3 NA*

English 8 Not available* 6 NA*

Empire/CYA Math 6 Not available* NA* NA*

English 6 Not available* NA* NA*

*Percentages are not available on groups of fewer than 10 students

– Source: the California Department of Education Web site


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