Scores moved upward for high schoolers in the Coachella Valley who took the high school exit exam at the end of last school year, according to the California Department of Education.
In the Palm Springs Unified School District, the pass rate among 10th- graders jumped to 74 percent in math, up from 70 percent last year, and to 73 percent in English, up from 68 in 2009.
Eighty-five percent of Desert Sands Unified 10th graders passed the math portion of the test, an increase from 81 percent in 2009, while 82 percent passed English, up from 80 percent last year.
The pass rate in English jumped from 66 percent to 70 percent for Coachella Valley Unified 10th-graders, but the percentage of students passing the math portion held steady at 71 percent.
Statewide, the pass rate was 81 percent for both the Math and English portions of the exam.
According to the CDE, 94.5 percent of students in the class of 2010 passed the overall exam, up from 90.6 percent last year.
“I am pleased that the latest Exit Exam results show that more of our students are mastering the mathematics and English-language arts skills measured by this exam,” said Jack O’Connell, state Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Passing the Exit Exam is a high school graduation requirement because students need these important basic skills to be successful in college, the workforce and in life.”
All students in California must take the exit exam during their sophomore year. They have two more opportunities to pass it in the 11th grade and three chances as seniors.
The class of 2006 was the first graduating class in California that was required to meet the exit exam requirement.
O’Connell noted that the results showed the achievement gap between black/Hispanic students and Asian/white students was narrowing. By the end of their senior years, 89.7 percent of black students and 91.6 percent of Hispanic students had passed the exam, compared with 97.4 percent of Asian students and 98.1 percent of white students, according to the state.
“I applaud the hard work of our students, teachers and school staff that has resulted in the gap narrowing, but we cannot rest until it is fully erased and all students are meeting their full potential,” O’Connell said.