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CAHSEE Program Notes, August 2012

August 2012 edition of the California High School Exit Examination Program Notes.
Topics covered in this issue:
  • Administration Dates for the 2012−13 School Year
  • CAHSEE Coordinator Reminders
  • Exemption and Waiver Updates
  • Security Breaches
  • Changes to the 2012−13 Administration Manuals
  • Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Information
CAHSEE Administration Dates for the 2012-13 School Year
October 2, 2012 October 3, 2012
November 6, 2012 November 7, 2012

December 8, 2012
(Saturday administration)

December 15, 2012
(Saturday administration)
February 5, 2013 February 6, 2013
March 12, 2013 March 13, 2013
May 14, 2013 May 15, 2013

Please note that the English-Language Arts November administration falls on Election Day, November 6, 2012. This date was chosen by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction because the other Tuesdays in November are holidays or the day after a holiday. Since schools will be observing Veterans Day on Monday, November 12, 2012, schools would not be able to remind students on Monday, November 12, 2012, about the Tuesday administration. Also, Thanksgiving is observed on Thursday, November 22, 2012 and many local educational Agencies (LEAs) take the entire week of November 19, 2012 as vacation. Attendance issues prevail during the Thanksgiving holiday time. Based on this information, the November 2012 testing dates are November 6 and 7, 2012.

LEA CAHSEE Coordinator Reminders
  • In accordance with California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 1209, each Superintendent of an LEA is annually required to designate the individual who will be the LEA’s CAHSEE testing coordinator for the coming school year and to provide Educational Testing Service (ETS) with contact information for that individual. The assigned CAHSEE coordinator is responsible for the administration of the CAHSEE and is the LEA’s primary liaison with ETS and the California Department of Education (CDE) High School and Physical Fitness Office with regard to CAHSEE issues. If you have not sent your CAHSEE 2012–2013 Designation Forms to ETS, you may find them at the ETS About CAHSEE Web page External link opens in new window or tab. . To ensure you receive valuable  information about CAHSEE administration due dates, deliverables, and webcast training, you must complete the forms and return them to ETS.
  • The 2012–13 CAHSEE Administration Manuals and the 2012–13 project calendar are located on the ETS CAHSEE Web page External link opens in new window or tab. .
  • CAHSEE LEA coordinators should have received the 2012–13 CAHSEE Training DVD prior to the July 2012 administration of the CAHSEE. The training DVD may be reproduced as needed. If the CAHSEE Training DVD has not been received, please contact ETS CAHSEE Support by phone at 800-241-5687.
  • Testing must be conducted on the designated dates as determined by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. To ensure the security of the test throughout the state, suggested start times are between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m. Any start time other than the suggested starting hours must be approved by CDE at least one week before the CAHSEE administration date; this includes students with disabilities (SWDs) who may be testing beyond the designated dates. Adult programs that may be testing in the evenings are encouraged to obtain approval from the CDE of their irregular hours for their entire 2012-13 school year schedule with one phone or e-mail contact. Questions, concerns, and approvals regarding testing start times or extended hours may be directed to the High School and Physical Fitness Assessment Office by phone at 916-445-9449 or by e-mail at
  • Beginning in grade nine, students and their parents or guardians must receive written notice of the CAHSEE requirement from their LEA. This notice must be provided at the beginning of the school year. At the end of July, the CDE will release the CAHSEE assistance packet Understanding the 2012–13 CAHSEE: Annual Notification to assist LEAs in providing this notification. The assistance packet, coming soon, will be located on the CDE CAHSEE Program Resources Web page, includes a sample notification flyer and suggestions for informing students and their parents or guardians about the CAHSEE.
Student Options to Participate1 in 2012–13 CAHSEE Test Administrations



N/A N/A N/A N/A Grade 10
Grade 10
Grade 10
N/A Grade 11 Grade 11 Grade 11 Grade 11 Grade 11 Grade 11
Grade 12 Grade 12 Grade 12 Grade 12 Grade 12 Grade 12 Grade 12
Adult Adult Adult Adult Adult Adult Adult

1 The administration schedule selected by local educational agencies (LEAs) must conform to the California Code of Regulations, Title 5 that governs the CAHSEE.

Testing Opportunities for Each Grade Level

The number of opportunities for students to take the CAHSEE at each grade level is established by the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 1204–1204.5, as follows:

  • Grade ten students will take the CAHSEE one time during the LEA’s census or makeup administrations.
  • LEAs will provide grade eleven students at least two opportunities per school year to take the section(s) not yet passed.
  • LEAs will provide grade twelve students at least three and up to five opportunities per school year to take the section(s) not yet passed.
  • LEAs will provide adult education students at least three opportunities per school year to take the section(s) not yet passed.

CAHSEE Test Regulations are located on the CDE CAHSEE Administrative Documents Web page.

CAHSEE Exemption and Waiver Updates

1. In May, 2012, the SBE adopted a streamlined waiver for requests by LEAs or special education local plan areas (SELPAs) on behalf of eligible SWDs to waive California Education Code Section 60851, requiring all students to satisfy the CAHSEE requirement as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation or a condition of graduation from high school. The criteria for meeting the streamlined waiver for SWDs include any eligible SWD who:

  • Has an operative IEP or Section 504 plan;
  • Has not passed the CAHSEE;
  • Has satisfied or will satisfy all other state and local requirements for the receipt of a high school diploma on or after July 1, 2012;
  • Has attempted to pass both portions of the CAHSEE at least once;
  • Has attained a performance level scale score of 300 (Basic) or above on the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program (STAR) California Standards Test (CST) in English language arts (ELA) grade ten or Algebra 1 without the use of a modification, or a scale score of 350 (Proficient) or above on the California Modified Assessment (CMA) in ELA grade ten or Algebra 1.

An LEA or SELPA may submit a Specific CAHSEE Waiver request to the SBE on behalf of one or multiple numbers of eligible SWDs in a single application, by completing the Specific Waiver Request form for a waiver of the CAHSEE requirements for eligible SWDs and by submitting the form and specified documentation. The waiver form and instructions for completing the process is located on the CDE’s Students with Disabilities Web page.

2. On July 19, 2012, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved CAHSEE regulations to extend the CAHSEE exemption for SWDs until December 31, 2012, which is the latest date under current law by which the exemption can be extended via regulations. The regulations will now need to be approved by the Office of Administrative Law. A definitive decision should be made by the end of summer.

3. In addition, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction is sponsoring legislation, Assembly Bill 1705, proposing to extend the deadline for the SBE to implement alternative means for eligible SWDs to satisfy the CAHSEE requirement from January 1, 2013, to July 1, 2015. The bill has passed out of its house of origin, the state Assembly, and will now go to the state Senate. To track Assembly Bill 1705, go to California Legislative Information Web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

4. The local CAHSEE waiver remains in place. California Education Code Section 60851(c) (1) explains the waiver request process in detail. A short summary follows: students who take one or both parts of the CAHSEE with a modification and receive the equivalent of a passing score are eligible for the waiver request process. At the request of the student’s parent or guardian, a school principal must submit to the local school governing board a request for a waiver of the requirement to pass the section(s) of the CAHSEE on which a modification was used and the equivalent of a passing score was earned.

For the local board to waive the CAHSEE requirement, the principal must certify to the local school governing board that the pupil has all of the following:

(A) An individualized education program adopted pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.) or a plan adopted pursuant to Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794(a)) in place that requires the accommodations or modifications to be provided to the pupil when taking the high school exit examination.

(B) Sufficient high school level coursework either satisfactorily completed or in progress in a high school level curriculum sufficient to have attained the skills and knowledge otherwise needed to pass the high school exit examination.

(C) An individual score report for the pupil showing that the pupil has received the equivalent of a passing score on the high school exit examination while using a modification that fundamentally alters what the high school exit examination measures as determined by the State Board of Education.

More information about CAHSEE waivers and the CAHSEE exemption is located on the CAHSEE Program Resources Web page under School, District, and County Assistance.

CAHSEE Security Breaches

During the 2012 March CAHSEE administration, several security breaches were discovered. The security breaches included images of current test items, answer documents, and test booklets posted to a variety of social networking websites. The CDE contacted the CAHSEE coordinators of the LEAs in cases where the students could be identified. Unauthorized copying of any CAHSEE test booklet, including posting of copyrighted images, or any items within the booklet is a violation of copyright law.

Maintaining the security of CAHSEE materials includes preventing the photographing and/or sharing pictures of test booklets and answer documents using cell phones or other technology. It is the duty of every person having access to testing materials to maintain the security and confidentiality of the examination.

The Directions for Administration (DFA) clearly directs students to clear their desks of electronic devices, books, backpacks, and any other materials not needed for the test. It is essential that all test examiners, proctors, and administrators follow these procedures as outlined in all CAHSEE testing administration manuals.

Pro-active preparation can decrease the possibility of further security breaches. CAHSEE site-visit auditors suggest daily-use offices should not be used to store secure materials. Instead, the test site coordinator should identify a lockable cabinet or closet to store testing materials. Pre-administration planning should include identifying testing rooms that allow for spacing of at least four feet from center of desk to center of desk, and that all students face the same direction. Staff should be trained to avoid distractions that take their attention away from proctoring responsibilities and that all personal items are removed from desks/tables so that test takers are not accessing any unauthorized aids.

Changes to Administration Manuals

Please note the following important changes in the CAHSEE Testing Administration Manuals:

District and Test Site Coordinator

  • District and Test Site Coordinator’s Manual is now titled Local Educational Agency and Test Site Coordinator’s Manual.
  • Under the section “Preparing Test Materials for Return to the Local Educational Agency Coordinator”, instead of “All test materials must be returned to the Local Educational Agency (LEA) coordinator by the day following the administration of the exam” this sentence now reads, “All test materials must be returned to the LEA coordinator by the next school day following the administration of the examination.” This change was made for any possible holiday or school closure the day after the CAHSEE administration.

Directions for Administration and Directions for Administration: Special Test Versions

  • Box 16 CBEDS enrollment is now CALPADS FALL 1
  • ASAM Schools Box has been removed
  • Security verbiage states that all test examiners and proctors be vigilant about student access to cell phones or other electronic devices
Update on SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium

On June 9, 2011, California joined the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) as a governing state. SBAC is a national consortium of 27 states that has been working collaboratively to develop a student assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards. California is one of 22 governing states, allowing California to participate in the decision-making process. The remaining five states are advisory states.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is developing a system of valid, reliable, and next-generation assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts/literacy (ELA/literacy) and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11. The system—which includes both summative and interim assessments for accountability purposes and optional interim assessments for instructional use—will use computer adaptive testing technologies to the greatest extent possible to provide meaningful feedback and actionable data that teachers and other education can use to help students succeed.

California is actively involved with the SBAC national work groups and has six SBAC National Work Group Members on the following work groups: Accessibility and Accommodations, Formative Assessment Practices and Professional Learning, Item Development, Performance Tasks, Technology Approach, and Test Design.

Additional information about SBAC is located on the CDE Smarter Balanced Web page or on the SBAC Web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

More Information

Additional information about the CAHSEE is available on the CDE CAHSEE Web page. Questions about the CAHSEE may be directed to the High School and Physical Fitness Assessment Office by phone at 916-445-9449 or by e-mail at

Questions:   CAHSEE Office | | 916-445-9449
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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