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Proposed Bill Would Suspend CAHSEE for Three Years

February 26, 2015

Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada/Flintridge) has introduced legislation in Sacramento (SB 172) that would suspend administration of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) for three years, and specify that passing the CAHSEE is not required for graduation during the same three-year period (2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19).

Liu notes that the CAHSEE was made a requirement for high school graduation beginning with the Class of 2006. However, the State Board of Education adopted the Common Core academic standards in 2010, and the CAHSEE has not been updated for alignment to the Common Core standards “and is therefore outdated as the exam is aligned to standards that are no longer in place,” according to a staff report from Sen. Liu’s office.

SB 172, introduced on Feb. 5, would additionally require the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene an advisory panel to recommend whether an exit exam should be continued, and what alternative pathways could demonstrate competency of the standards. The bill would also require the recommendations of this advisory panel to be included in the currently required report regarding expansion of the state’s assessment system.

In 1999, California began creating the CAHSEE, a plan that was pushed by then State Sen. Jack O’Connell. The first batch of California students voluntarily took the new test in 2001. O’Connell touted the creation of the CAHSEE as one of his accomplishments when he campaigned for State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2002 (winning election with some 61 percent of the vote).

Sources:  Office of Sen. Carol Liu, EdBrief staff.