Sent to the Santa Monica Mirror, Dec 19, 2009
State Senator Fran Pavley noted that the state legislature needs to cut $6 billion from the budget in the next few months ("Pavley On State Budget Crisis," Dec. 17-23). Here is a way of accomplishing nearly 10% of that right away, and with additional savings each year: Dump the high school exit exam. Studies of high school exit exams show that they are useless: They do not lead to higher employment, higher earnings, or improved academic achievement. In fact, researchers have yet to discover any benefits of having a high school exit exam.
Warren, J.R., Grodsky, E., and Lee, J, 2008. "State High School Exit Examinations and Post-Secondary Labor Market Outcomes." Sociology of Education, 81: 77-107
Grodsky, E., Warren, J.R., and Kalogrides, D. 2009.
"State High School Exit Examinations and NAEP Long-Term Trends in Reading and Mathematics, 1971-2004." Educational Policy, 23 (4): 589-614