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FAQs About the Suspension of the CAHSEE

Frequently asked questions about the suspension of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) and the implementation of Senate Bill 172.
  1. What is Senate Bill 172?
  2. Who is eligible to receive their diploma without having passed the CAHSEE?
  3. Are school districts responsible for contacting students who may qualify for a diploma under this new law?
  4. Does this law include students in adult education programs?
  5. Are there any additional requirements that eligible students must meet to receive their diploma?
  6. When can eligible students obtain their diploma?
  7. Where can students go for information about receiving their diploma?
  8. For students who moved to an adult education program or changed schools or districts to finish requirements for their diploma, which school/district is responsible for issuing the diploma?
  9. If students completed all diploma requirements except for the CAHSEE prior to January 1, 2016, what should be the issuance date of the diploma?
  10. Are LEAs required to update any data in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)?
  11. Will the state’s four-year cohort graduation rate be updated to include these students?
  12. What do students do if the school they attended is now closed?
  13. How will students know if all of their graduation requirements have been met?

  1. What is Senate Bill 172?

    Senate Bill (SB) 172 (Liu), signed by Governor Brown on October 7, 2015, suspends the administration of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) and the requirement that students completing grade twelve successfully pass the high school exit examination as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation from high school for the 2015–16, 2016–17, and 2017–18 school years. The law also requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to grant a diploma of graduation to any student who completed grade twelve in the 2003-04 school year, or a subsequent school year, and has met all applicable graduation requirements other than passing the high school exit examination. The bill also requires the Superintendent to convene an advisory panel to make recommendations to the Superintendent on the continuation of the high school exit examination and on alternative pathways to satisfy the high school graduation requirements pursuant to California Education Code sections 51224.5 and 51225.3. The law will take effect on January 1, 2016, at which time LEAs shall be permitted to issue diplomas to eligible students.

  2. Who is eligible to receive their diploma without having passed the CAHSEE?

    Students who completed grade twelve in the 2003–04 school year, or a subsequent school year, and have met all applicable graduation requirements other than passing the high school exit examination will be eligible to receive a diploma.  “Applicable graduation requirements” would include all local and state graduation requirements that were applicable to a student at the time he or she completed grade twelve.

  3. Are school districts responsible for contacting students who may qualify for a diploma under this new law?

    There is nothing in SB 172 which requires school districts to contact students who may be eligible to receive their diploma. Outreach to students directly or through local media markets is a local decision but is encouraged

  4. Does this law include students in adult education programs?

    Yes. Students in adult education programs in the 2003–04 school year, or a subsequent school year, who have met all applicable graduation requirements other than passing the high school exit examination will be eligible to receive a diploma under this law.

  5. Are there any additional requirements that eligible students must meet to receive their diploma?

    No. As long as all applicable graduation requirements have been found to have been met, eligible students should receive their diploma.

  6. When can eligible students obtain their diploma?

    The law will take effect on January 1, 2016.  On or after that date, LEAs may begin issuing diplomas to eligible students.

  7. Where can students go for information about receiving their diploma?

    Eligible students should contact the LEA (school district, county office of education, or charter school) where they completed grade twelve. The LEA must verify that the student had met all state and local requirements for their diploma, with the exception of passing the CAHSEE. The LEA is responsible for issuing the diploma.

  8. For students who moved to an adult education program or changed schools or districts to finish requirements for their diploma, which school/district is responsible for issuing the diploma?

    A student’s transcript is maintained by the school or school district in which they were last enrolled. Students should contact that school or school district of last enrollment to request their diploma.

  9. If students completed all diploma requirements except for the CAHSEE prior to January 1, 2016, what should be the issuance date of the diploma?

    Although SB 172 was chaptered on October 7, 2015, the law does not go into effect until January 1, 2016. The issuance date of the diploma will be on or after January 1, 2016.

  10. Are LEAs required to update any data in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)?

    With the passage of Senate Bill 172, the data in CALPADS will continue to reflect the implementation of graduation requirements at the time the data were reported. Prior year graduate counts will not be recalculated; therefore, LEAs do not need to change or update any CALPADS data as a result of the suspension of the CAHSEE requirement except in two scenarios in compliance with SB 725. See the CAHSEE FAQs on the CALPADS FAQs Web page for more details and additional technical FAQs related to reporting in CALPADS.

  11. Will the state’s four-year cohort graduation rate be updated to include these students?

    State and federal law requires that graduates must receive their diplomas within four years of their first enrollment in grade nine to be included in the cohort graduation rate. Students who meet this requirement will be included in any upcoming calculations of graduation rates. Prior four-year cohort graduation rates will not be recalculated.

  12. What do students do if the school they attended is now closed?

    Students should contact the local school district where they last attended school.

  13. How will students know if all of their graduation requirements have been met?

    The local school district where a student last attended school will make the final determination, based on the state and local graduation requirements that were in effect when the student completed grade twelve.

Questions:   High School and Physical Fitness Assessment Office | cahsee@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-9449
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 28, 2015

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