California’s High School Exit Exam Is No Longer, After Gov. Brown Signs Bill Into Law

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A file photo shows a teacher in a classroom. (Credit: (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times)

A file photo shows a teacher in a classroom. (Credit: (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times)

Eighteen years after lawmakers agreed that California high school students should prove their skills on a final exam before earning diplomas, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday to permanently repeal the requirement.

The move comes two years after Brown and lawmakers imposed a three-year suspension of the law, which would have expired next spring. It marks the final chapter of a law that was originally promised to ensure students should be able to prove a series of basic reading and math skills before graduating.

But the exam was suspended in 2015, after state officials said it wasn’t aligned with recently adopted Common Core education standards. The suspension, approved later that year, allowed some 32,000 students who failed to pass the test as far back as 2004 to receive diplomas, as long as they had completed their other coursework.

Education officials told lawmakers this year that new, more thorough assessment tools are now in place and have made the idea of the exit exam obsolete.

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