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Samohi Students Ace Exit Exams

At Santa Monica High School, scores improve just slightly over last year. Some minority students are still not passing at the near-perfect rates of white and Asian students.

More than 90 percent of sophomores at passed in the last academic year the exit exam needed to earn a diploma.

Ninety-two percent of the 730 10th-graders at Santa Monica High School who took the math portion of the California High School Exit Exam passed, and 93 percent of the 732 who took the English and language arts section passed, according to data released Wednesday by the California Department of Education.

The high school improved by one percentage point in math compared to the year prior.

Samohi students out-performed most in the county and the state, where the average passage rate is 84 percent.

"These numbers certainly confirm what we already know—we have a strong school system," said Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education President .

The districtwide averages were 92 percent and 94 percent, respectively.

The class of 2006 was the first graduating class in California that was required to meet the exit exam requirement. The test is meant to ensure students have solid skills in reading, writing and math.  It is first administered in 10th grade, and subsequently in grades 11 and 12 if students do not pass the first time. Students can take the test up to nine times.

At Samohi, female students performed slightly better than their male counterparts—they were ahead by 2 percentage points in each category.

Asian students notched the best passage rate at 97 percent in each category, followed by white students who passed at an average of 96 percent in each category. Latino students trailed behind, with 90 percent passing the English language portion of the exam and 89 percent passing the math section. African American students passed at the lowest percentages, 82 percent in math and 86 percent in English.

With one exception, sophomores of every race at Santa Monica High School surpassed statewide averages.

But Allen said more work was needed to lift the scores of minority students.

"There is a persistent and pernicious achievement gap that exists in both our district in and in schools across the country," said Allen. "It is good to see that our Latino students are out-performing students at large of any race across the state."

California's Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson noted the achievement gap between Latino and white students has narrowed by 12.5 percentage points from the class of 2006 and the class of 2014—this year's 10th graders—on the English portion of the test and 12.9 percentage points on the math section.

How does Samohi stack up to other school districts in the region?

Across Los Angeles County, 82 percent of 10th graders passed the math portion of the test—up from 81 percent last year—and 81 percent passed the English portion, the same percentage as last year's class.

Ninety-five percent of 10th-grade students at Culver City High School passed the math portion and 92 percent passed the English and language arts portion.

About 77 percent of all 10th grade LAUSD students who took the California High School Exit Exam in the 2011-2012 academic year passed the test.

Wen Chen August 22, 2012 at 11:11 PM
We need to set up a PTA group to suport Minority parents to help and support their children to do the home work at home. We should encourage students to have study group to do homework together after school or do the homework on weekend. We should get our Librarian to open tutor classes to assist homework study. We than invite the entire community to show support to our students to be educated and be sucessful in their lives.

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