SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — This year’s graduating class posted the highest pass rate on the state’s High School Exit Exam, with Bay Area districts seeing improvement.

According to the California Department of Education, 95 percent of California’s nearly 450,000 seniors passed the exam, making it the sixth straight year of improving scores. Superintendent Tom Torlakson credits higher scores to billions of dollars spent over the last decade to improve learning in elementary and middle schools, which is paying off now.

94 percent of high school seniors in San Francisco passed the exam, which tests reading, writing and math. In the San Jose Unified School District, 85 percent of students passed both the math and English tests, for a one percent gain.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

In Oakland, which has seen dismal graduation rates in the past, 80 percent of students passed compared to 77 percent last year.

Spokesman Troy Flint of the Oakland Unified School District said high school has been a big area of focus.

“We’ve made incremental change. I believe we’re up about three percent this year which is not nearly fast enough to make up for our deficit,” he said.

The results come as administrators of the ACT college admission test released a report showing many high school graduates still aren’t college ready.

According to the report, 60 percent of students tested missed the mark in at least two out of four benchmarks the ACT sets in English, reading, math and science, while more than a quarter of graduates met none of the benchmarks. Only 25 percent of graduates met all four benchmarks.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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