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Local English-Learning Students Struggle with High School Exit Exam

San Rafael English-learners performed lower than the county and the state on 2011-2012 school year's High School Exit Exam.

While 79 percent of San Rafael students passed the California High School Exit Exam in the 2011-2012 school year, the rate of English learners passing the test fell below the state and county averages.

Of 86 English-learning students tested in the San Rafael City School District, 37 percent passed the mathematics portion of the test and 22 percent passed English and language arts, compared to the county's average of 45 percent for math and 29 percent for English. San Rafael high schools were behind the state in both subjects by approximately 20 percent.

English learners are classified as students whose primary language in the home is not English. performed the lowest with only 26 percent of English-learners passing math and 15 percent passing English and language arts.The North San Rafael school's passing rate fell from 75 percent for math and 42 percent the previous year.

"The CAHSEE focuses more on passing than proficiency," Terra Linda Assistant Principle Katy Dunlap said."We're trying to focus more on proficiency."

The high school's cirriculum focuses on social studies and science as well as math and English, and the school's Academic Performance Index (a number comprised of scores from the California Standards Test and the CAHSEE that measures the students' performance) increased by 37 points for English learners from 2010 to 2011.

Terra Linda English learners did not perform as well on the standardized tests for the 2011-2012 school year, according to Dunlap.

"With this year being a little below our goal, it didn't come as a huge surprise that our CAHSEE scores were lower," she said.

To improve the passing rates of English learners, teachers are planning to identify students who need extra help and develop an individual education plan to assist them.

All high school students must pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) before graduating. Should they not pass it their sophomore year, students have additional opportunities every year.

Passed Math
English-Learners Tested Passed English English-Learners Tested Terra Linda 26% 27 15%

27

San Rafael 42% 59 26% 58 District 37% 86 22% 85

County

45% 164 29% 165 State 56% 64,091 44% 64,982
whitney August 29, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Nice to see that English Learning kids have a better chance at San Rafael High!!!!! Go Bulldogs!
Beatrice August 29, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Unrelated comment here: we need a good charter high school in San Rafael.
Ibrahim adam August 30, 2012 at 08:51 AM
I like san rafeal bt unfortuanetly i'm in kenya camp refugee bt i'll be there one day inshallah.

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