BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 01, 2022

Berkeley school board to vote on how to address exit exam cancellation

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AUGUST 23, 2015

The Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education plans to discuss next week how to accommodate graduating students “left in limbo” after the recent cancellation of the high school exit examination, according to Judy Appel, the board’s president.

In June, the state Department of Education elected to cancel the summer administration of the California High School Exit Examination. The decision prevented high school students statewide who had planned to take the exam that summer from fulfilling requirements allowing them to graduate and enroll in college.

At its upcoming Wednesday meeting, the school board intends to vote on whether to waive the stipulation that requires those students to pass the exam in order to graduate, said school district spokesperson Mark Coplan.

According to Coplan, only two students in the district have been identified as being directly affected by the cancellation. Neither student plans on attending college, which makes the situation for the district more of a “moot issue,” he said.

“It is unfair to them to be left without access to their high school degree without having the full notice to prepare for that outcome,” Appel said in an email.

California legislators are in the process of amending a state Senate bill to include a clause that would exempt the class of 2015 from the exit exam requirement, while another bill — SB 172 —  in the state Legislature would potentially cancel the exam’s requirement for the next three years’ graduating classes.

The San Francisco school board voted to grant diplomas to students who had not taken the test because of its cancellation, despite the decision’s violation of the state education code.

Coplan said a similar decision by the Berkeley school board would be “clearly defensible” and necessary in light of the “cycle of events” put into action by the cancellation of the summer exit exam.

According to UC spokesperson Dianne Klein, the University of California is prepared to accept applicants who did not take the exam because of the summer cancellation, although the situation did not result in any revoked admissions offers among the university’s nine undergraduate campuses.

She added that it is UC policy to “follow up” with a high school or student if his or her transcript is missing a graduation date.

“Any UC admitted student affected by this situation will not be canceled for the fall solely because they were unable to complete the exit exam,” Klein said in an email.

Contact Kayla Kettmann at 

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AUGUST 23, 2015


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