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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Policy Brief: High School Exit Exam Failure Rates and Opportunity to Learn


California has required students to take the High School Exit Exam since 2001. This exam assesses core academic skills in two areas: Mathematics and English Language Arts. To date, the results of the Exit Exam have been used as part of California’s accountability system. Current law calls for the state to withhold diplomas from students in the class of 2006 who do not pass either section of the Exit Exam. The law also states that it is the responsibility of school districts to “prepare pupils to succeed.”

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