California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE)
Beginning with the Class of 2006, students in California public schools were required to pass the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) to demonstrate competency in grade-level skills in reading, writing, and mathematics to earn a high school diploma. The content of the CAHSEE was based on the content standards in English-language arts and mathematics that were adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) in 2003. In 2010, the SBE adopted the Common Core State Standards in English-language arts and mathematics.
Due to the change in academic standards, Senate Bill 172 (Liu) was signed by the Governor to suspend the administration of CAHSEE and the requirement that students pass the CAHSEE to receive a high school diploma for the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 school years. The law required that schools grant a diploma to any pupil who completed grade twelve in the 2003-04 school year or a subsequent school year and met all applicable graduation requirements other than the passage of the high school exit examination. The law further required the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene an advisory panel to provide recommendations to the Superintendent on the continuation of the high school exit examination and on alternative pathways to satisfy the high school graduation requirements pursuant to Education Code sections 51224.5 and 51225.3. The law became effective on January 1, 2016.
If you think that you meet the requirements of Senate Bill 172, please complete this PUSD high school diploma inquiry form.
Purpose and Content
The primary purpose of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) is to significantly improve pupil achievement in public high schools and to ensure that pupils who graduate from public high schools can demonstrate grade level compentency in reading, writing, and mathematics. The CAHSEE helps identify students who are not developing skills that are essential for life after high school and encourages districts to give these students the attention and resources needed to help them achieve these skills during their high school years. All California public school students except eligible students with disabilities must satisfy the CAHSEE requirement, as well as all other state and local requirements, in order to receive a high school diploma. The CAHSEE requirement can be satisfied by passing the examination, or for eligible students with disabilities, meeting the exemption requirement pursuant to California Education Code (EC) Section 60852.3, or receiving a local waiver pursuant to EC Section 60851 (C).
The CAHSEE has two parts: English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The ELA part addresses state content standards through grade ten. In reading, this includes vocabulary, decoding, comprehension, and analysis of information and literary texts. In writing, this covers writing strategies, applications, and the conventions of English (e.g. grammar, spelling, and punctuation). The mathematics part of the CAHSEE addresses state standards in grades six and seven and Algebra I. The exam includes statistics, data analysis and probability, number sense, measurement and geometry, mathematical reasoning, and algebra. Students are also asked to demonstrate a strong foundation in computation and arithmetic, including working with decimals, fractions, and percents.