10th graders all over the state will take the California High School Exit Exam next month. The CAHSEE is a state-wide test public high school students must pass to earn a diploma. It was created to ensure students graduate with grade-level skills in reading, writing and math, but three years ago only 58% of Roosevelt High School students tested proficient and ever since then the school has looked for ways to improve scores.
"We are also measured in our academic performance," said Bryan Wells, Roosevelt High principal. "How we perform on the CAHSEE, 23% of that is based on our students and outcomes from the California High School Exit Exam in language arts and mathematics."
So school administrators came up with a new course called CAHSEE 380, or what it describes as a sort of intervention boot camp. For the first time, this semester it is offering the class to more than 430 sophomores, juniors and seniors.
For 6-8 weeks, students will get direct instruction from a credentialed teacher. They will use a self-paced online curriculum to get used to the format and the content they'll see on the exam.
Principal Bryan Wells says it's a fantastic blend of using what's already at their fingertips. "Once the student logs in and is able to work, the information comes to the teacher and there's an opportunity for remediation within a small group in the classroom to work on standards or issue of deficit and then attacks those using technology."
The CAHSEE exam is scheduled for February 7th and 8th. If students pass - they'll return to elective courses. If they need more help to pass the next time - CAHSEE 380 runs through March.