California's Department of Education just released the latest results of the state's mandatory (but not-yet binding) High School Exit Exam. In general, the results are promising. Though this year's results are largely inconsequential, students in future classes will be required to pass the exam before receiving their diplomas (pending the passage of Assembly Bill 347). Highlights from the data and accompanying press release after the jump:
* More students of the Class of 2007 passed the test than their 2006 counterparts at the same point last year.
* The percentage of students passing in all gender, racial, and socioeconomic groups increased.
* The percentage of traditionally underserved students passing increased at the highest rates ("African American or Black", + 4.7%; "Hispanic or Latino", + 3.7%; "Economically Disadvantaged Students", + 2.6%), although the passing rate of these students is still roughly five percentage points below the average.
* Students of the class of 2009 passed the test on their first try - in the 10th grade -- at a significantly higher rate than had students of the class of 2006. The only exception to this general improvement has been among "English Learner Students" - the first-time passing rate decreased among this group by 3.2% on the English Language Arts section and by 2.6% on the Mathematics section.
To look up specific data by school, district, or county, follow this link, but beware, it's a bit of a mess to sort through.