From the beginning of an article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle (it’s definitely worth reading):

“For a decade, supporters of the California High School Exit Exam have said the high-stakes test would boost student performance while opponents countered that it would worsen the dropout rate.

Turns out they both were wrong.

A new study out of Stanford University found that the exit exam hasn’t lived up to expectations – good or bad.

While graduation rates dropped significantly because of the exam, students didn’t drop out of school in despair as predicted. Nor did the high-stakes test motivate the schools and students to do better academically than before.

Instead, the exit exam produced an unexpected consequence: The Stanford study found that girls and students of color – who perform just as well as boys and whites, respectively, on other statewide tests – disproportionately fail the exam.”