As a credentialed substitute teacher and tutor throughout the area in the past three years, I am seeing a lot of cluelessness in our state’s current educational system. The California High School Exit Exam — or CASHEE for short — is one puzzle piece that needs to have people take a serious look at it.
The CASHEE is one standardized test that needs to change its structure. Currently, the CASHEE only tests reading, writing and mathematics at a 10th-grade level, according to the state. In actuality, the CASHEE tests reading and writing skills at a seventh-grade level, while the math tested is fifth-grade math, with the exception of minimal algebra.
The state is also putting emphasis on only three subjects while eliminating other vital skills that one should have mastered before graduating high school.
What would one suggest to improve reliability for the CASHEE? First, the English and reading portions of the test need to be equivalent to a 10th-grade level, when students first take the exam. Second, students should be tested on social studies, as well. Isn’t it important that students know what is around them, our geography, our government and our history? Adults who don’t know those things often make uninformed decisions when voting.
I hope that California’s Department of Education eventually makes some of these changes and makes education worth something again in California. How would it feel to not be ranked 49th anymore in the country for our state’s education program?