L.A. Unified 10th Graders Still Passing Exit Exams at Near Record Pace

LOS ANGELES - The percentage of 10th-grade students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, who passed the California High School Exit Examination on their first attempt, remained at near-historical highs, according to state figures released today.

During the 2013-14 school year, 68 percent of District 10th graders passed both the English Language Arts and mathematics portions of the exam. This compares to 69 percent from a year earlier, an all-time high. The latest mark represents significant change from 44 percent in 2003-04, the year the exam was first given statewide.

“We held mostly steady for the year, but when you look at the historical trends, we’re making great progress in preparing our sophomores and other students for graduation,” said Superintendent John E. Deasy. “There’s no doubt that we have more work to do in serving our historically-underserved students, and we are committed to doing so.”

Overall, 78 percent of sophomores passed the English Language Arts portion of the test, and 79 percent passed the mathematics part, recording a 1-percentage point increase in both subjects from the previous year.

In English Language Arts, the District’s 10th graders have shown steady progress, rising from 71 percent in 2008-09. Compared to the state and other urban school districts, this year L.A. Unified trailed San Diego Unified, which topped the list at 85 percent; two points above the state average at 83 percent.

In mathematics, L.A. Unified students have shown a similar pattern of growth in recent years but remained behind the leader, San Diego, at 87 percent, and the state at 85 percent.

All California students, except those with disabilities, must pass both parts of the exam in mathematics and English Language Arts to receive a high school diploma. Those who fail in the 10th grade, have up to two more chances in 11th grade and up to five chances in the 12th grade to retake either the part of the exam not yet passed, or if necessary the whole test.

The rate of 11th graders who passed both exams rose this year by one percentage point to 80 percent from a year ago. Among seniors, 87 percent passed, a slight decline of 1 percentage point compared to the previous year.

Schools with the Highest Percentage Point Gain in Pass Rates for 10th Graders

May 2013 May 2014 One Year Change

Marquez Senior High 55% 72% 17%
R.F. Kennedy Senior High Arts 63% 79% 16%
Jefferson Senior High 49% 62% 13%
RFK UCLA Community School 60% 73% 13%
Rivera Learning Center Public Service 52% 65% 13%
Torres Humanities/Arts/Tech 50% 63% 13%
Legacy Senior High 61% 73% 12%
Chavez Language Arts 49% 61% 12%
Rivera Learning Com & Tech 51% 63% 12%
Carson Academy of Med Arts 79% 90% 11%
RFK Ambassador Global 51% 61% 10%

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