Are there any resources to help middle meet the needs of students who perform below
school teachers prepare students for the
or far below basic on the California Standards
The following resources are available for
teachers: How can middle school teachers address School Exit
the needs of students with disabilities and
Teacher Guides: The California Department of
Teachers can use previous test data, classroom
Education (CDE) has produced teacher guides
for the CAHSEE in English-language arts and achievement, and teacher recommendations
mathematics. These guides summarize the to determine the skill level and learning needs
essential knowledge and skills covered in each of students with disabilities or English learners. Information for
strand of the state’s content standards, followed Students with disabilities and English learners Middle School Teachers
by information and examples of how these then can be enrolled in specialized programs
that target their individual needs.
standards may be tested on the CAHSEE.
Released Test Questions: Sample CAHSEE Students with disabilities may use test
test questions from previous administrations variations, accommodations, and/or
of the CAHSEE for English-language arts modifications for classroom instruction or
and mathematics are available for teachers to to take the CAHSEE, as specified in their
download. These items provide examples of individualized education programs (IEPs) or
the type of questions on the CAHSEE, and how 504 plans. English learners also may use
they address the standards. specified variations for instruction or testing.
Allowable assistance for students with
The CAHSEE teacher guides and released disabilities is listed in Matrix 1. Matrix of Test
test questions are located on the CAHSEE Variations Accommodations, and Modifications
Resources Web page at http://www.cde. for Administration of California Statewide
ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/resources.asp. Assessments. Allowable assistance for English
learners is listed in Matrix 2. Matrix of Test
How can teachers prepare middle school Variations for Administration of California
students for the CAHSEE? Statewide Assessment for English learners.
Both documents are available on the CAHSEE
The best way teachers can prepare middle
Accommodations and Modifications Web page
school students for the CAHSEE is to cover
grade-appropriate content standards during
regular classroom instruction. Teachers
For more information about the CAHSEE
should monitor the levels at which their middle
school students perform on standards-based California Department of Education
Visit the CAHSEE Web site at
assignments and assessments to determine
areas of strength and specific areas that need September 2008
improvement. Areas that need improvement
should be emphasized whenever possible.
Teachers should consider further support to
What Middle School Teachers and Administrators Need to Know About the CAHSEE
Although the California High School Exit The writing section covers: the mathematics part is administered on the
Examination (CAHSEE) will not be administered second day of testing.
• Writing strategies
to students until they are in grade ten, it is
• Writing applications
crucial that their teachers and administrators What content on the CAHSEE is covered
• Writing conventions
recognize and help students who are potentially in middle school?
at risk of not passing the examination. Students Although most of the standards addressed
The mathematics part of the CAHSEE assesses
in grades 7-12 who do not demonstrate on the English–language arts portion of the
the knowledge and skills of state-adopted
sufficient progress towards passing the exit CAHSEE are taught at the high school level,
mathematics content standards for grades six
examination must be offered supplemental the content taught in middle school includes
and seven and Algebra 1. The mathematics
instructional programs (Education Code Section foundational skills needed to learn the content
37252). To effectively address these concerns, described in the high school standards for
teachers and administrators need to be familiar • Statistics, data analysis, and probability English-language arts.
with the CAHSEE. The questions and answers • Number sense
that follow provide middle school teachers with • Measurement and geometry The majority of questions on the mathematics
information they need to help students prepare • Algebra and functions part of the exam measure knowledge and skills
for this graduation requirement. • Mathematical reasoning of content standards for grades six and seven
• Algebra 1 and Algebra 1.
What is the CAHSEE?
The CAHSEE is an examination all California Students must demonstrate mastery of How can teachers identify the founda-
public school students must pass to receive computational skills and show a foundation tional knowledge and skills middle school
their high school diploma. Students also must in arithmetic, which includes working with students need to learn?
meet all other state and local requirements to decimals, fractions, and percentages.
All of the state content standards covered
receive a diploma. on the CAHSEE are listed in the CAHSEE
What types and how many questions are
blueprints. The blueprints include the number of
The purpose of the CAHSEE is to improve on the exam?
test questions (items) on the CAHSEE for each
student achievement in high school and to The English-language arts part of the exam subject tested and show which standards are
help ensure that students who graduate includes 79 multiple-choice questions and a being addressed by strand.
from high school can demonstrate grade- writing task. The writing task requires students
level competency in reading, writing, and to write a biographical composition, an A thorough understanding of the California
mathematics. informational or persuasive essay on a specific content standards covered on the CAHSEE
topic, or a response to a literary or informational and the test questions addressing them can
What subjects are on the CAHSEE? passage. help teachers focus their instruction on specific
The CAHSEE has two parts: English-language foundational skills students need to learn.
arts and mathematics. The English-language The mathematics part of the exam includes 92 This information also can help teachers and
arts portion assesses the knowledge and skills multiple-choice questions. administrators identify at-risk students and
of state-adopted English-language arts content better prepare them for the examination.
standards through grade ten, which includes When do students take the CAHSEE?
reading and writing. The reading portion covers: The CAHSEE is first administered at the school The CAHSEE blueprints for English-language
site to all grade ten students during regular arts and mathematics are available on the
school hours. The English-language arts portion CAHSEE Resources Web page at http://www.
• Informational reading
is administered on the first day of testing, and cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/resources.asp.
• Literary reading