The End of NY State Regents Tests?

After 146 years of continuously running, the system of NYS high school regents tests may be discontinued on account of fair chances and equal opportunity for students.

YWN

The New York State Education Department has announced plans to sunset the Regents exams, a requirement for high school graduation since 1878. Under the new plan, students will no longer need to pass the three-hour exams to graduate, but can opt to take them to demonstrate proficiency in meeting state learning standards.

Currently, students must earn 22 credits and pass at least four Regents exams for a Regents diploma, or seven state exams for the advanced diploma designation, which is seen as a boost to college applications. However, efforts led by NYSED Commissioner Betty Rosa have argued that graduation rates remain tied to race, poverty, and special needs, and that a single test is not sufficient to measure student success.

NYSED will conduct public forums from July to October and present a timeline and considerations to the Board of Regents in November. The board must approve any changes to graduation requirements. Existing requirements, including Regents exams, remain in place for now.

Discussion
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  1. Great news! Answer to prayer! For years students have been required to jump through hurdles no matter how far gone the curriculum has been, focussing not on learning that develops literacy, math, and jobs skills competencies, but on the test marks (public school teachers and principals sometimes are involved in cheating). Students have often been grappling with warped content to get a basic High School diploma that’s required for many jobs. These are jobs that can earn incomes and produce tax payers. They are jobs that people would be good at and help society doing that have nothing to do with most of the Regent subject matters. They also need a High School diploma or Equivalency Diploma to enter the military. The High School Equivalency exam was made too hard in some states (TASC ) so after many years of students failing at a very high rate some turned it back to the basic GED. But that can be very hard to pass in relation to how some subjects were taught all the years to the youngsters focussing on the Regents (and sometimes common core). Changing this is absolutely great news!!!!! Thanks for the article.

      1. It’s about time! What really defines a student is their work ethic throughout the school year not a single exam.

    1. Just terrible… dumbing down the standards on the alter of equity… This is the classic Left.

  2. Does this mean that the Jewish school will be able to take out many Halachaikly/Haskhafikly questionable or useless subjects that were only taught in order to pass the regents?

    1. Parent, the regents subjects are Math, Science, English, and Social Studies. Are you deeming these questionable or useless for attendees of the Jewish school?

      1. Yes certainly! Many topics in science are very questionable, as is the entire approach of the scientific method from a Torah perspective. Much of the information can also be seen as useless for the average student, much like almost all of social studies. In addition, social studies for the Regents required students to learn about the different branches of Xantianity. This was being studied in a Mesivta in Crown Heights!

        In addition, once a child knows basic math and English skills, I don’t see the value in requiring them to learn advanced calculus when there are many more crucial subjects they need to be learning, in Kodesh certainly. Even in Chol, specifically for girls who have no issue of Bittul Torah, there are much more important life skills that could be learned from other subjects.

        1. I can confirm that we learned about the KKK and it’s history and ideology complete with a full film documentary, R”L!

          1. I think this is the result of several years of lazy teachers not doing their job… No student left behind has allowed teachers to just pass the problem off to the next teacher and on and on until the student falls so far behind they drop out, and now this will mean teachers will be held less accountable for teaching. Kids today are not taught how to write or read cursive and are taught a twisted take on American history. Kids are being forced to learn that boys can be girls and vice versa. My 16 yr old gave up on NY schools when he learned more about American history from a video game and was being force fed the concept that he “owes the black people” because he’s not black… This idea is a very bad idea and will dumb down our kids even more than they are now and teachers will have less accountability…

      2. For those of us who believe the subjects in and of themselves are useful, the huge problem has been how they have been presented in order to get the right answers on the Regent Exams. None of those subjects need to be taught in the ways they often are. In fact, the way they’re taught for the Regents, especially mathematics, is confusing and disempowering. Even if one didn’t have religious objections (which shouldn’t be so lightly brushed off) questions are often politically biased. I’ve heard of a government official having been motivated and fought against something like a map of the Middle East on a Regent Exam not having included Israel, but it was after the fact. There are many examples, and it is extremely hard to keep up with them. Let’s keep all the good in English, Math, Science and History as they are taught in the states and countries that don’t have Regent Exams, and, iyH, youngsters in all schools will be able to learn more successfully. They will have a much better chance of staying in school and achieving basic diplomas with chances towards employment, higher education, and military service. It will also open the doors for more people who will be able to have jobs we need them to take, like joining the police force and fire departments, become EMTs, electricians etc. As a side note, I very often pray that a lot of the inflated educational requirements which don’t have to do with the skill or work ethic are removed from many jobs. Also importantly:
        Removing the Regents pressure can help free everyone up for effective instruction and learning, and probably help reduce desperate cultures of cheating. Sending blessings and awaiting more good news, especially that of Moshiach and the Geulah.

      3. “Science”? Not sure that’s the right word. Half its Regents curriculum is political propaganda.

  3. Their are some Lubavitcher Mesivta’s in the Shechuna that currently take the regents. I have personally seen the textbooks and heard the classes given and can confirm that the curriculum is brimmed to the full with Kefirah and useless subjects.
    When the Rebbe instructed certain Moisdos to do secular studies many years ago, the curriculum was very different from now. I would highly doubt that the Rebbe would approve studying the current Regents curriculum in New York.
    Moisdos that did receive individual instructions to learn secular subjects should probably review the current curriculum and make a Cheshbon if they would feel comfortable writing to the Rebbe a Duch about it.

  4. What took so long??? They should have been abolished years ago. They do not benefit a student in any way! The test scores are not even considered when applying to colleges.

    1. Thanks for your years of service and your to the point response. As a teacher, you probably had to figure out how to teach for the Regent and simultaneously teach the truth about the actual subject. I looked up the incident where a Regent was post facto taken to task regarding Israel. It was not that Israel wasn’t included in a map of the Middle East, which has happened in other “educational” settings. It was an issue of much more subtle ways maps and “facts” were presented and omitted regarding Israel, which indicates how the very complicated curriculums have been being taught in schools that we pay tax dollars towards. In science, history and English, the Regents and curriculums have so much political and world view bias that is often not compatible with faith based communities. And it’s not good for youngsters and society. Mathematics also became corrupted and difficult to teach and learn with “Common Core.” The removal of Regent is common sense and will be better for everyone.

  5. Although Regent’s is FULL of problems, I’m not convinced cancellation is the only solution.

    Why not seriously reform and improve it — do the hard work of making it GOOD? Why should we believe a new program will be better than Regents? And will the new program be run by the same cronies doing the same shtick with a new label or will there be a shake-up in the education dept, returning power to parents/schools?

    I don’t know the answers to any of this!

    1. It is true that the people in charge shouldn’t try to make it better. What they call better is real stupidity. Just gender stuff proves that they have no brains. But now if they make it to be up to the school and teacher, a teacher who uses his brains can teach what is supposed to be taught.

  6. The decline of education is happening, it’s not about equality, it’s because educational system plays around with politics and this is the result.

  7. What is equality? There is no equality in education. If you make everyone look the same, that’s not equality, that’s mediocrity applied at every level.

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