Unfortunately, The Bee Editorial Board is misguided in its support for the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), as $130 million is spent annually administering and scoring the test, as well as providing remediation for students who have failed one or both sections.
This amount of money might be justified if it could be shown that the CAHSEE improves achievement rather than just give Californians a warm feeling from the mistaken notion that we are holding our students to a higher standard. Not one study shown that our state exit exam increases student achievement.
The Bee is also misguided in touting the value of a high-stakes test over student grades as a measure of achievement and worthiness to graduate. Such tests largely measure affluence (well-to-do kids skate through such tests while poor kids and English learners often struggle). In contrast, grades not only show achievement but they demonstrate grit, self-control, conscientiousness, and ability to delay gratification over the span of four years’ time.
Use the $130 million for initiatives proven to help kids rather than for a very expensive feather in the political cap of former California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell.