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"A lot of teachers tend to pass students just because they are teacher’s pet or the teachers want to get rid of them to make room for more students. The students are cheating themselves out of an education; they’re running away from their problems which means they’ll run away from any difficult task in life."
—Alejandra Ramirez, 18, University HS

"Poorly run schools are to blame for our lack of fundamental know-how. Most schools let you graduate even if you’re not ready to."
—Victor Gonzalez, 17, Bravo Medical Magnet

"It’s the students. They don’t try to learn."  —Jorge Hernandez, 16, Metropolitan HS

"In a lot of cases, teachers don’t do the best job they could, but on the other hand, even if it were the teachers’ fault, the students should do something about it. So a lot of the students’ future success depends on whether or not they want to learn. The problems in school or surrounding it (gangs, violence, unsupportive parents) definitely
distract students because it makes it harder to strive for the best."
—Shengul Bajrami, 17, University HS

"The high school was not doing a good job. The teachers are not teaching well. They blame it on the students."
—Destiny Horne, 15, Hamilton HS

What happens if you fail Cal State’s math and English tests? You have a year in college to take remedial classes and bring yourself up to speed. In 1998, 19,237 Cal State freshmen needed remedial classes. What happened to them? More than 79 percent showed proficiency in English and math by their second year in college. Of the rest of the students, 7 percent were expelled. They can return if they show they have the required math and English skills. Seven percent were granted temporary exceptions and seven percent left the system for other reasons, according to California State University data.

Look up your school’s alumni performance
How did students from your high school who attended a Cal State University perform on the exams? Find out on the Cal State web site at