Results of the California High School Exit Exam for 2002-03 are good
news to Burbank teachers and district administrators, because the
percentage of students in the 2004 and 2005 graduating classes who
passed is higher than the percentages for the county and state.
The data, released Friday by the state Department of Education,
indicates that 55% of the district’s students passed the math portion
of the exam, while the county percentage is 37% and the state’s is
43%. In English and language arts, 76% of district students passed,
compared to 62% countywide and 66% statewide.
The test results are based on the July, September and November
2002 exams and January, March and May administrations this year.
New coursework, including a two-year algebra program at the
district’s high schools, as well as intervention, power clinics and
tutoring, contributed to the rising pass rates, said Caroline Brumm,
the district’s student and program evaluation coordinator.
“I met individually with [all] students who came within 32 points
of passing, and I gave them a copy of their tests,” Brumm said. “I
identified what they needed to know, gave them a packet of what they
needed to work on, and gave them a list of tutors available to help
Despite the state Board of Education’s decision to delay the exit
exam until 2006 as a graduation requirement, John Burroughs High
School Principal Emilio Urioste said, “Our attitude is we’re not
relaxing because we have to prepare our Class of 2006.”
At Burroughs, the passing rate in math rose from 33% in 2001-02 to
57% in 2002-03. In the English portion of the exam, the passing rate
rose from 65% to 82%.
Urioste attributes the success to several factors, including the
school’s ninth- and 10th-grade reading classes, and 15 minutes of
silent reading in each class every week.
Burbank High School numbers also reflect an increase in the number
of students who passed the exam.
During the 2002-03 school year, 57% passed the exam, up from 33%
in the 2001-02 school year. In the English portion of the exam, 75%
passed the test, an increase of 25% from the previous year.
Michael Bertram, Burbank’s assistant principal of instruction,
said that this year’s sophomores will take the exit exam for the
first time in March, and he expects even higher passing rates.
“The bottom line is the high stakes,” Bertram said. “Students
realize this is the test that must be passed to get a diploma.”