Back Bay High improves exit exam scores

COSTA MESA — Back Bay High School made the largest increase in the percentage of students who passed the high school exit exam this year over last, according to data released Wednesday.

The alternative high school at 390 Monte Vista Drive made a 9% gain in math and a 4% gain in English, with 68% of its students passing the two sections, according to the state Department of Education.

The data looked at the percentage of sophomore students who passed the math and English-language arts section of the California High School Exit Exam, or CAHSEE, in 2010-11.

Back Bay Principal Deborah Davis said the school uses a specific teaching model to ensure students pass.

"I was thrilled and pleased and not totally surprised," Davis said. "Our district is focused on helping kids through the CAHSEE. That includes looking at their history. The district provides tutorial instruction in English and math. We look at their past test results, and select areas were they need a little more success. It's a very scripted teaching style."

Across the district, the number of students who passed stayed almost the same; numbers for Monte Vista High School were not available.

Districtwide, Newport-Mesa rose 1% to 88% in math and stayed at 87% in English.

Newport Harbor High School students had the next highest growth with a 2% increase in math, up to 90%, and a 1% gain in English, up to 89%, in English.

Estancia High School's English pass rate increased by 2% to 78%. The school held at 80% in math.

Early College High School had the highest percentage of students passing with 99% in both sections, followed by Corona del Mar High School with 97%.

CdM's numbers decreased by 1% compared to the previous year.

Costa Mesa High School was the only school whose pass rate stayed consistent from the previous year, with 81% in both sections.

Countywide, 88% of students passed both the math and English sections. Statewide, 83% passed math and 82% passed English.

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