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New Contract to Administer High School Proficiency Exam

Program Evaluates Basic English Language Arts and Mathematics Skills

CHSPE logo

Following a competitive bidding process, the Center for Student Assessment and Program Accountability at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has been awarded a new three-year contract with the California Department of Education to administer the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE). The CHSPE is a program established by California law (Education Code Section 48412). SCOE has been administering the CHSPE since December 2002. The new $3 million contract will run through 2009.

The CHSPE program, which began in 1975, provides an opportunity for eligible persons who are proficient in basic English language arts and mathematics skills to have that proficiency verified. Individuals who pass the examination are given a state Certificate of Proficiency that is equivalent by state law to a high school diploma.

"It's important for students to understand that the CHSPE is equivalent to a diploma only in California. Students considering attending colleges outside of the state must check to see if those schools will accept the results of the exam," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon. "Upon passing the CHSPE exam, students have the opportunity to head straight to community college."

Passing the CHSPE does not, by itself, however, excuse minors from attending school. Minors who have a Certificate of Proficiency must also have parent/guardian consent to stop attending school.

Students may take the CHSPE only if, on the test date:

  • They are at least 16 years old, or
  • They have been enrolled in the tenth grade for one academic year or longer, or
  • They will complete one academic year of enrollment in the tenth grade at the end of the semester during which the next regular test administration will be conducted.

The CHSPE is administered three times each year, in the spring, summer, and fall. Over the past year, more than 10,000 examinees registered to take the test at 75 centers throughout the state.