May 12, 2006
Dear County and District Superintendents:
Today, the Alameda County Superior Court issued a ruling in the case of Valenzuela v. O’Connell, regarding the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). The Court has issued a preliminary injunction ordering districts to offer diplomas to students in the class of 2006 who have met all state and local graduation requirements, except for passing the CAHSEE.
Today’s judgment reflects a preliminary ruling until all appeals have been exhausted. I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that at the end of the legal day the integrity of the exit exam is maintained.
Immediately upon receiving this decision, I directed our attorneys to appeal this ruling and to seek a stay of the judge’s order. This stay will be requested at the appellate court level and, if issued, students in the class of 2006 will be required to satisfy the CAHSEE requirement in order to receive a diploma. We hope for a decision on the stay sometime next week.
I will keep you updated on the continuing legal steps associated with this case. Attached to this email is a statement expressing my concerns with this ruling.