Faced with not receiving a high school diploma, Tracy teenagers are buckling down to pass state-required math and English-language tests, especially when given the first opportunity.
Eighty percent of Tracy 10th-graders last spring passed the math and English tests in the initial run of the controversial California High School Exit Exam, based on results released Tuesday.
A passing grade in the math test is 55 percent and it’s 60 percent for the English test.
“It shows improvement and energy (of the students),” said Jim Franco, superintendent of the Tracy Unified School District. “Of course, these are high-stake tests.
“But the scores also show our schools’ attention (with curriculum). We are offering booster math and two-year algebra classes in the high schools, and the English departments’ curriculum meet state guidelines.”
The high school exit exam determines whether high school seniors receive a diploma or a certificate of completion at graduation. Less than 6 percent of the class of 2006 locally and 10 percent statewide failed to earn a diploma.
Test-takers in the classes of 2007 and 2008 are several percentage points ahead of their 2006 counterparts at this stage, which could mean even lower failure rates at graduation. The exit exam tests at the ninth-grade level in math and at the 10th-grade level in English.
Local scores were better than county and state averages.
Of San Joaquin County students who took the math portion of the test, 55 percent passed. Of those who took the English test, 58 percent passed. Statewide, 59 percent passed the math section and 61 percent passed the English test.
Of the Tracy High School students who took the math test, 61 percent passed. Of those who took the English portion, 63 percent passed.
Of the West High students who took the math test, 67 percent passed. The same percentage passed the English portion.
At Millennium, a local charter high school, 85 percent of the sophomores passed the math test and 85 percent of them passed the English portion. At Delta Charter High School, 58 percent passed the math test and 84 percent passed the English portion. At Duncan-Russell, the local continuation high school for juniors and seniors, 33 percent passed the math test and 37 percent passed the English portion.
However, the passing rates at the sophomore level at the local schools were the highest: Tracy High, 81 percent in math and 82 percent in English; West High, 82 percent in both math and English; and Delta Charter, 75 percent in math and 92 in percent English.