The percentage of high school students passing the Exit Exam this year shows a drop from the previous two years. This year it was just over 90-percent; in 2007 it was just over 93-percent. But State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell cautions against comparisons. That’s because 2008 marked the first time that students in special education courses were required to take the exam. Nearly 54-percent of those students passed the test—but O’Connell notes they can stay in school until they’re 22.
“I fully expect the graduation rate and the pass rate of the High School Exit Exam to increase while these students remain in school…”
O’Connell noted a lower percentage of African American, Latino and students learning English met the exam requirements compared to white and Asian students. But he says passage rates are increasing among first-time test takers— those in the tenth grade.