Testing the trustees
School board members take on the exit exam
So just what’s on this California High School Exit Exam? How hard is it, really? Could we pass it? How about our school leaders?
In the interest in giving readers a peek at the content of the exam that can make or break a high schooler’s diploma, we invited (well, more like cajoled) the five members of the Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees to take a stab at a selection of questions released from tests dating from 2001 to 2003.
The trustees gamely tackled somewhat random questions from each of the mathematics “strands” and three English/language-arts questions. (Reading comprehension would have taken too much space, and we figure if they can understand the News & Review, they can comprehend anything.)
They seemed to have fun with it, especially Scott Huber, who included humorous observations after each question, and Rick Rees, who tagged each selection with the assertion that it was “my final answer.”
Trustee Rick Anderson admitted to a little “test anxiety” but in the end was the only one to rack up a perfect score, even though on the last math question his answer “was a guess based on the best-looking answer.”
Steve O’Bryan wanted to get some help from his sixth-grader but ended up doing well on the questions he completed. (He got a little sidetracked and didn’t get back to the test.)
“The big issue with high-stakes testing is that many tests are mandated and few funded,” O’Bryan said. “If your test scores are inadequate, your funding can get cut. I would like to see the federal government treat education like they do weapons systems, where if it doesn’t work they pour more money into it.”
Anthony Watts, who was in the 95th percentile of SAT takers at his high school, found the test to be “too easy.” “I figure I can’t represent education well if I don’t hold myself to the same standards that we hold the students to,” wrote Watts, his sentence ending in a preposition but his heart in the right place.
1. Which of the following numerical expressions results in a negative number?
A. (-7) + (-3)
B. (-3) + (7)
C. (3) + (7)
D. (3) + (-7) + (11)
2. Three-fourths of the 36 members of a club attended a meeting. Ten of those attending the meeting were female. Which one of the following questions can be answered with the information given?
A. How many males are in the club?
B. How many females are in the club?
C. How many male members attended the meeting?
D. How many female members of the club did not attend the meeting?
Watts: A and B
Answer: C. “Read it too fast I guess,” Watts offered.
3. If n=2 and x=1/2, then n(4-x)=
4. Beverly ran six miles at the speed of four miles per hour. How long did it take her to run that distance?
A. 2/3 hr
B. 1 1/2 hrs
C. 4 hrs
D. 6 hrs
5. The table below shows values for x and corresponding values for y.
21 3 14 2 28 4 7 1
Which of the following represents the relationship between x and y?
Answer: A. Huber said, “I’m not sure its right but I am sure that it took me too long to work it out!”
6. Which of the following is equivalent to 9-3x>4(2x-1)?
O’Bryan: saved for later
English- language arts:
1. The Alaskan rivers are clear and sparkling in summer however, they are frozen in winter.
A. in summer, however they are frozen in winter.
B. in summer; however, they are frozen in winter
C. summer: however they are frozen in winter
D. Leave as is.
2. The musician played Wendy’s favorite waltz for her husband and _____.
Answer: D. What may sound right isn’t right on this one. Huber said, “If I got this right it begs the question, ‘Where’s Wendy and why am I dancing with her husband?’”
3. When she ___________ the award, she blushed and quickly returned to her seat.