Riverside County high school sophomores topped their classmates from the previous year on the math portion of the California High School Exit Exam and performed at the same level on the English section, according to test results published Thursday.
According to 2012-13 CAHSEE results released by the California Department of Education, 84 percent of 10th graders passed the math portion of the test, up from 83 percent the previous year, while 82 percent passed the English portion -- the same as in 2011-12.
A district-by-district breakdown showed students in both the Murrieta Valley Unified and Temecula Valley Unified School Districts had the highest pass rates in math and English—91 and 92 percent, respectively.
Among Murrieta Valley Unified's three comprehensive public high schools, Murrieta Valley High School had a 94 percent English-Language Arts passage rate on the exam, Vista Murrieta's was 93 percent and Murrieta Mesa's was 89 percent.
On the math exit exam, 94 percent of Vista Murrieta sophomores passed, 93 percent from Murrieta Valley passed and 88 percent passed at Murrieta Mesa.
In Temecula Valley Unified, 95 percent of Great Oak High School sophomores passed English-language arts, 91 percent passed at Chaparral High did and 89 percent passed at Temecula Valley High. On the math exam, 93 percent passed at Great Oak, 91 percent did at Chaparral and 89 percent did at Temecula Valley High.
Students in programs administered by the Riverside County Office of Education, which supervises a large number of troubled youths, had the poorest showing in math and English tests -- 35 percent in both categories, according to data.
Statewide, 84 percent of 10th graders passed the math portion, while 83 percent passed English -- the same as the previous year's 10th graders.
According to the CDE, 95.5 percent of students in the class of 2013 across the state passed the overall exam, a slight uptick from the previous year. This year's pass rate was the highest it has been since the test was made a graduation requirement.
"Despite the very real challenges of deep budget cuts and the ongoing effort to shift to new, more demanding academic standards, our schools persevered and students made progress," according to Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction. "These results should give us confidence as we start the new school year, and our efforts to make college- and career- readiness a goal for every student move into high gear."
All students in California must take the exit exam during their sophomore year. They have two more opportunities to pass it in the 11th grade and up to five chances as seniors.
The class of 2006 was the first graduating class in California that was required to meet the exit exam requirement.
—City News Service and Maggie Avants contributed to this report.