Governor signs bill dropping high school exit exam requirement for class of 2015

Loni Hancock

State Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) talks before the Senate on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Sacramento. Lawmakers approved Hancock’s measure, SB 725, that would suspend a testing requirement for about 5,000 high school students who couldn’t graduate this year because the state canceled the exit exam. 

(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed an emergency measure Wednesday allowing high school seniors who have completed their coursework to receive diplomas without taking the statewide exit exam.

This year’s exit exam was canceled by state schools chief Tom Torlakson, who said the test did not reflect the new Common Core curriculum.

The move affected around 5,000 students in the class of 2015, who were unable to receive diplomas despite having completed required classes.

Lawmakers promised swift action when they returned from their summer recess.


“These students are stuck in a bureaucratic limbo through no fault of their own, and we are committed to helping them move forward,” said state Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) earlier this month.

Legislators sent a bill remedying the situation to Brown on Monday.

Under the measure, SB 725 by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Oakland), the statewide exit exam will not be necessary to receive a high school diploma for this year’s seniors, so long as the student has completed all other requirements.

Follow @melmason for more on California government and politics.