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Exit exam appeal due

June 09, 2006|By Vince Lovato

GLENDALE ? The state's superintendent of schools will appeal today to the state's highest court to overturn a judge's ruling that suspended the high-school exit exam and left dozens of local high-school seniors in suspense.

"In an effort to seek resolution of this issue as quickly as possible, I have asked my attorneys to appeal directly to the California Supreme Court," State Supt. of School Jack O'Connell said. "They are working around the clock to prepare those papers, and we will file before 5 o'clock, close of business ? ," O'Connell said, referring to close of business today. "While I am advising all school districts to abide by the lower court's order until or unless the order is modified by an appellate court, I am hopeful that our appeal to the state Supreme Court will bring quick resolution to this issue."

O'Connell's appeal follows Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman's ruling on May 12 that suspended the exam on the grounds that it discriminates against financially challenged students and English learners.

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For local school districts, the ruling leaves district officials in a state of limbo and hoping for a quick ruling on the appeal.

"The timing is terrible for us, the students, all the way around," Glendale Unified School District board member Mary Boger said.

About 20 of Glendale's estimated 2,100 seniors have not yet passed the test.

Boger likes the idea of an exit exam but wants some consideration for students who arrived in the state too late to master English and for certain special-education students.

"The only ones who haven't passed are special-ed students and English learners," Boger said.

"What we need the state superintendent to do is to address these two issues. It can be a terrible handicap for kids who are not planning to go to college to not have a high-school diploma."

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