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California Academic Partnership Program - Math

California High School Exit Examination Remediation Compendium.
Organization Name:

California Academic Partnership Program (CAPP)
California State University Office of the Chancellor

Remediation Program Title:

Grade Recovery Program

Subject Matter:



Designed for students who earned grades of D or F in math at the first-quarter progress reporting period, the Grade Recovery Program is an opportunity to succeed rather than fail. This program is based on the school’s commitment to placing students in the most challenging level of mathematics while offering support for their success. Rather than waiting until students need remediation, the Grade Recovery Program, as one teacher put it, “keeps students from falling off the horse in the first place.”

This voluntary program was composed of a series of after-school Grade Recovery workshops, totaling eight hours, for Algebra I, geometry, and Algebra II. The workshops were offered after school and were taught by experienced math teachers. The workshops focused on the types of problems that posed the most difficulty for students according to a common test administered by all teachers of a given math course at the end of the first six weeks of the course.

CAPP has supported the development and operation of this program at Mar Vista High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District, in addition to the program’s replication at Calexico High School. Students were energetically recruited for the program at these schools. Participation in the program was presented as a privilege for eligible candidates. Personal letters of invitation for participation were delivered to students at school and were mailed to parents. Students were invited to attend a special assembly; math teachers also encouraged students individually to attend the workshops.

Participants who complete the program were eligible to take the Grade Recovery Exam, a constructed-response test that requires students to show all reasoning used to reach solutions to three or four important problems. A team of teachers use a common rubric to score the exams, reporting results to the students and to their regular math teachers. Upon receiving a student’s score and his or her Grade Recovery Exam responses, math teachers can opt to change the student’s first-quarter grade to as high as a B. More than 75 percent of students who completed the program at the observed high schools were able to successfully complete the math sequence, a requirement to California public universities.

This and other program examples are cited in the WestEd CAPP publication “Inside High School Reform: Making the Changes That Matter” by Jordan Horowitz and CAPP. More information may be found on the California Academic Partnership Program External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

Target Audience:

Students earning a D or F in the first quarter in math and who are in danger of failing or have failed the math portion of the CAHSEE.

Typical Instructional Setting:


Diagnostic Assessment Used:

A grade of D or F in Algebra I, geometry, or Algebra II was used to assess a student’s suitability for the program.

Curriculum Used:

District-adopted curriculum currently in place in Algebra I, geometry, and Algebra II courses is used. Emphasis for remediation is placed on needed areas of improvement. A common department final exam is administered at the end of the program.

Contact Information:

Dave Jolly
Statewide CAPP Director
California Academic Partnership Program
CSU Office of the Chancellor
401 Golden Shore, Sixth Floor (CAPP Office)
Long Beach, CA 90802

Questions:   CAHSEE Office | | 916-445-9449
Last Reviewed: Monday, September 21, 2015
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