Regents exams cancelled — teachers and school boards applaud

The State Education Department has cancelled the June Regents exams and on Tuesday issued guidelines for graduation.

“The COVID-19 emergency has evolved rapidly, leading to uncertainty as to when regular in-school classroom instruction will be able to resume throughout the state and whether students will be adequately prepared to take the Regents examinations,” the department said in a release. “As a result, the Board of Regents and Department have cancelled the June 2020 administration of the NYS High School Regents Examination Program.”

In addition, due to the schools being closed to stop the spread of coronavirus, the department delayed for one year, to 2022, the rollout of state tests aligned to the grades 3 through 8 Next Generation Learning Standards for English and math. Similarly, the alignment of state tests to the New York prekindergarten through 12th grade Science Learning Standards will begin in spring 2023.

New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta responded in a statement, “This is the right decision that will allow our students and their families to first and foremost focus on being safe and healthy without having to stress about preparing for traditional end-of-year exams this June.”

Similarly, New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider applauded the decision, saying, “No student should be denied course credit or a high school diploma or otherwise penalized due to these extraordinary circumstances. Guidance issued by the State Education Department focuses on ensuring learning outcomes and standards, rather than on testing. In our view, that is the proper focus.”

The department has modified the requirements that students must meet to earn high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements. These modifications apply to all students enrolled in grades 7 to 12 during the 2019-20 school year who were intending to participate in one or more of the June 2020 Regents Examinations.

Students who during the June 2020 examination period would have taken one or more Regents examinations, will be exempted from passing the tests in order to be issued a diploma. To qualify for the exemption, students must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

— The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have earned credit in such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or

— The student is in grade 7, is enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have passed such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or

— The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and has failed to earn credit by the end of the school year. Such student returns for summer instruction to make up the failed course and earn the course credit and is subsequently granted diploma credit in August 2020; or

— The student was previously enrolled in the course of study leading to an applicable Regents examination, has achieved course credit, and has not yet passed the associated Regents examination but intended to take the test in June 2020 to achieve a passing score.

Further guidance is available on the website for the State Education Department.

 

More Regional News

  • The rubric of vaccination rates being lower in rural areas holds in Albany County as well, according to the state’s tracker, reported by ZIP code.

    As of Tuesday night, for people getting at least one shot, Coeymans Hollow has a rate of 47.5 percent; South Bethlehem, 58.1 percent; and Medusa, 68.3 percent. Clarksville and Berne were in the seventies while Preston Hollow and Westerlo were in the eighties.

    Meanwhile, Delmar, Slingerlands, Guilderland Center, Voorheesville and Altamont ZIP codes all have populations in which more than 99 percent have received a vaccination.

  • Albany County suffered three COVID deaths this week: a man in his seventies died on Thursday, a man in his sixties died on Friday, and a woman in her nineties died on Saturday. Albany County’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 439.

  • Boosters are recommended because the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes over time.

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