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Chapter 6 High stakes diplomas: Organizational responses to California's high school exit exam

Strong States, Weak Schools: The Benefits and Dilemmas of Centralized Accountability

ISBN: 978-1-84663-910-4, eISBN: 978-1-84663-911-1

ISSN: 1479-3539

Publication date: 18 July 2008

Abstract

This chapter examines organizational and instructional responses of California's high schools to the introduction of a High School Exit Examination through interviews with 47 high school principals across the state. I found that most schools changed little about their organizational structure, and provided little support for students until after they failed the exam. Findings also indicate that the exit exam influenced the curriculum most significantly in low-performing schools and in low-track classes within higher performing schools. While the exit exam spurred some positive changes, it also led to unintended consequences inside classrooms.

Citation

Jellison Holme, J. (2008), "Chapter 6 High stakes diplomas: Organizational responses to California's high school exit exam", Fuller, B., Henne, M.K. and Hannum, E. (Ed.) Strong States, Weak Schools: The Benefits and Dilemmas of Centralized Accountability (Research in the Sociology of Education, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 157-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1479-3539(08)16006-2

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited