“About half of our special education students are on track to pass the exit exam in 2006,” he said. “Those special education students who are on a path toward high school graduation should be given the same high-quality education as all our students.” Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nearly 20 percent – or 6,000 students – on track to graduate from a Los Angeles Unified high school in June still need to pass the state-mandated exit exam, figures released Thursday show. District officials said 5,934 students, including about 2,900 English language learners and 1,800 special education pupils, must pass the test in March in order to qualify for graduation. Administrators noted that 7,500 needed to pass in September and more than 11,000 in August, so rates are improving. “I feel very good. This is real progress,” said Esther Wong, assistant superintendent of the district’s planning, assessment and research department. “We have one more exam and about five different programs we’re pushing really hard, including a boot camp, and our intention is to get as many as possible through that hoop.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Students can take the test a number of times beginning in their sophomore year. Seniors have one more chance to pass the exam – a requirement to graduate – before the end of this year. If they fail, they can take summer school and take the exam once again after that. To help students, the district has spent about $7.7 million on test preparation courses after school and on Saturdays, as well as a boot camp before the next examination. More than 200 special education students passed the latest exam, dropping the number of those who still need to pass to 1,800. There are about 5,700 special ed students in the current senior class. Those special education students may still be able to graduate this year provided they are enrolled in remediation classes, take the test two more times and are on track to graduate. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said Thursday he was supporting legislation that would delay the passing requirement for a year for these students.