Judge halts high school exit exam
Associated Press
May. 13, 2006

SACRAMENTO - A judge on Friday suspended California's high school exit exam, finding it discriminatory in a ruling that could allow thousands of students who failed the test to get their diplomas anyway.

Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman also denied the state's request to immediately stay the decision pending an appeal.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said the state would immediately appeal the ruling, which he said creates "chaos" for more than 1,100 high schools that are completing graduation preparations.

"There are students who are within days of graduation. They are left with uncertainty over whether they will be granted a diploma," O'Connell said in a teleconference. "How are these students and these schools to plan for their futures?"

The Alameda County judge agreed with the plaintiffs that the exam discriminates against poor students and those who are learning English.

This year's graduating class is the first one required to pass the exam to
earn a diploma. The ruling could affect 47,000 seniors, about 11 percent of
the Class of 2006, who have yet to pass both the English and math sections
of the exam. State officials do not know how many of those students have met
the other requirements to graduate.