The California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and special education: a case study

This thesis represents an in-depth case study on the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) in relation to students in special education, including an historical summary, exam content, basic administration guidelines, exemptions and waiver processes, and modifications and accommodations utilized on the exam. It also includes a discussion about the possible implications of the exam, including issues of fairness, student motivation, higher expectations for students in special education, and increasing the value of the California high school diploma. Because results show overall lower passing rates for students with special needs, the investigator discusses the issue of fairness and makes recommendation for increasing success on the CAHSEE for students in special education. KEYWORDS: CAHSEE, exit exams, special education, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), school accountability, California State Standards