CAHSEE Classes Help Students Pass Test

Two classes are currently offered to help students who have previously failed the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) to meet this graduation requirement.

The CAHSEE consists of a language arts section and a math section. According to CAHSEE data online, 68 sophomores (now juniors) had not passed language arts and 40 had not passed math as of May. Numbers of seniors who haven’t passed is currently unavailable.

Theresa Nesmith teaches the math class, and Héctor Pérez teaches the language arts class. The classes, both taught during seventh period, are not required for those who have not passed the test, but instead are considered electives.

“It’s basically a one-on-one tutoring session,” Nesmith said. “We do practice tests also to get them ready.”

Nesmith teaches a class of six seniors and four juniors. The class focuses on Algebra I and geometry, the math topics covered on the test.

Nesmith makes sure to create an environment in which the students feel comfortable and are willing to learn.

“I don’t want them to be embarrassed,” Nesmith said. “I just want them to come.”

Pérez’s class consists of 17 seniors and 2 juniors. Almost all the students are or have been English Language Development (ELD). The class has created a bilingual glossary to help break the language barrier, which can be used during the actual test.

“The aim is to have these students enter the testing environment ready for the test,” Pérez said. “[For these students], it is not  English as a second language; it’s standardized tests as a second language.”

This year, make-ups for the test were administered to seniors on October 2-3 and to juniors on November 6-7. There will be more opportunities for both to pass the test in March and June.

If the students are able to pass the test first semester, they will be released from the class at the end of the semester. Those who pass the test second semester must stay until the end of the year.