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CA Students Return to Court to Force Exit-Exam Issue

Students in California challenging the California High School Exit Exam as "an invalid and discriminatory requirement for receiving their diplomas" have returned to court to seek a preliminary injunction to force the state to comply with the terms of the settlement in the years-old Chapman v. California Department of Education lawsuit.

Although the parties had earlier "reached an agreement to propose a new law delaying the CAHSEE graduation requirement for one year for students with disabilities, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the law in October," according to Disability Rights Advocates, the Oakland-based disability rights law firm representing the students. "In the face of devastating uncertainty about their academic futures, the students have returned to court to seek a preliminary injunction to implement the terms of the agreement."

According to DRA, "the mandatory CAHSEE requirement would deny high school diplomas to nearly 25,000 students with disabilities in the Class of 2006. This enormous tragedy would be a direct consequence of the state's failure to prepare special needs students to pass the Exit Exam."

The court is scheduled to hear arguments about the injunction in January.

Read more about the lawsuit from DRA.


Unfortunately, I have to argue that these parents should be asking the school why their children did not learn the skills of reading and writing instead of blaming the school for not letting them graduate.

I have been an English teacher. I have been an advocate. I have worked with people with all levels of hearing ability and all levels of reading and writing ability. No matter the disability, the better skills a person has in reading and writing, the more success a person experiences.

Difficulty hearing does indeed make the learning process more challenging, and learning written language is somewhat like learning a foreign language after learning to sign, but I would advocate that it is a critical piece of success.

If parents want to give their children the best skills to survive in our world, make sure that kids can read and write to the best of their ability.

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