Court Grants Injunction for Students with Disabilities

K-12 Testing

In the first decision of its kind, a federal court in San Francisco has issued a preliminary injunction against the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) on behalf of children with disabilities. The landmark ruling is based on a finding that the exam is likely to violate the rights of students with disabilities by denying them meaningful inclusion in the state’s “standards-based” testing reforms and by potentially affecting their opportunity to obtain a diploma. The court ordered California education officials to protect students from these harms by developing an alternate form of assessment for students whose disabilities prevent them from being able to demonstrate their knowledge and skill through a standardized testing format. The court also ordered the state to defer to a students’ individualized education plan, created by a team of parents and educators for each student, in determining whether a student needs testing accommodations. The complete text of the court’s ruling can be found at