School starts Thursday, so it's a good time to reflect on some recent accomplishments.
Coronado High School sophomores did slightly better on last year's high school exit exams than their county and state peers, according to figures just released by the state.
In both the math and English portions of the exam, 95 percent of 10th graders passed. That's down slightly from the 2010-11 school year, when 98 percent of the students passed the math portion, while 97 percent mastered the language exam.
Coronado still outpaces San Diego County though, where pass rates in 2011-2012 were 88 percent for math and 86 percent for English.
The statewide 10th-grade pass rate was 84 percent for math and 83 percent for English. More than 465,000 10th-graders took the test in 2011-2102 in California.
The tests must be passed if students are to graduate high school.
For more results, including breakdowns by year, race/ethnicity, gender, language fluency and economic status, see the state CAHSEE site.
When juniors and seniors are factored in, the percentage of California students from the Class of 2012 meeting the CAHSEE graduation requirement rose slightly over last year to 95 percent, marking the sixth straight year of improving performance, said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
“When 95 percent of California students are hitting the mark – despite the tremendous challenges we face and the work we still have to do – there’s an awful lot going right in our public schools,” Torlakson said.
The CAHSEE is given each year to ensure that students who graduate from public high schools demonstrate competency in reading, writing and mathematics. Students who do not pass the CAHSEE in grade 10 have two opportunities in grade 11 and up to five chances in grade 12 to pass the exam.
The preliminary 2011-12 results, which are for the July, October, November and December 2011 and the February, March, and May 2012 test administrations, show increased passing rates among most demographic subgroups of students by the end of their senior year, the state said in a press release.
This year's overall passing rate did not include students with disabilities as these students are currently exempt from meeting the CAHSEE requirement, except for taking the exam as sophomores to meet state and federal requirements.
Passed in 1999, the law mandating exit exams for high school students didn’t take full effect until 2006 after surviving a court challenge.
The state Department of Education appealed a May 2006 ruling by an Alameda County Superior Court judge, which struck down the testing, ruling that students from disadvantaged schools had not been appropriately prepared for the test. The state Supreme Court reinstated the exam.