A majority of Newport-Mesa Unified sophomores passed the statewide high school exit exam last year, according to data released Wednesday.
Eighty-eight percent of local sophomores who took the California High School Exit Exam, or CAHSEE, passed. That puts the district as a whole on par with Orange County and above the state as a whole, according to the state Department of Education.
"We consider the CAHSEE one of many data points we utilize to measure success in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District," said Charles Hinman, assistant superintendent of secondary education. "While we are encouraged that our pass rate has increased, as has most of our indicators, we will use this data as a pathway to continuous improvement."
The data looked at the percentage of sophomores who passed the math and English-language arts sections of the exam in 2011-12. The exam tests proficiency in reading, writing and math.
Students who don't pass their sophomore year can retake the test in their junior and senior years. Passing is required to earn a diploma.
Here's the breakdown for each school:
•At Early College High School, every student passed the math portion and 97% passed the English section.
•Corona del Mar High School sophomores passed both sections at a rate of 98%.
•Newport Harbor High School followed with 90% in English and 89% in math.
•At Costa Mesa High School, 81% passed English and 82% in math.
•At Estancia High School, 73% passed English and 79% in math.
•At Back Bay High School, 59% passed English and 43% passed in math.
•Data was unavailable for Monte Vista.
Two subgroups of students at CdM and Harbor had the highest increase in the number of students passing in the district.
The number of CdM's special education students who passed the math portion increased by 20%. At Harbor, the percentage of economically disadvantaged students who passed the English portion also jumped by 20%.
The state released data for all students and several subgroups of students: special education, English learners, reclassified fluent English proficient, economically disadvantaged and not economically disadvantaged.