April 6, 2020
Dear New York State Board of Regents,
We are writing to provide comments on the 2020 NYS Regents cancellation given the current state of emergency due to COVID-19.
We support the cancellation of the June Regent exams given the uncertainty of school reopening and the many challenges of remote learning that our teachers and students are still working through, as long as the Regent exams are rescheduled to offer students the opportunity to take them at a later time. However, our Regents are not only standardized exams for high school coursework, they are also requirements for NYS high school diplomas. Temporary changes for this year must account for the permanent implications to our student’s academic records and opportunities. We must also recognize that policies we set will affect the rigor and value of the education that our students take with them into college and employment. Many students across the learning and socioeconomic spectrums, and teachers have worked hard all year long to learn what is required to achieve their goals in earning Regents diplomas and we must allow them the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment.
We propose the following as temporary solutions in place of the cancelled June Regents. For planned graduating high school seniors:
Students may choose to graduate with the type of diploma based on the number of Regent exams already taken prior to June;
Students may choose to take the Regents in June or August and earn the high school diploma based on the results;
Students must fulfill the current requirements of one of the 3 different types of diplomas by August 2020 in order to graduate high school;
For all other students:
Offer all the Regents in August 2020; review classes should be made available to any students at their local schools 4-6 weeks in advance of the exams.
Offer all the Regents in January 2021 for those students who took the course in 20192020; review classes should be made available to any students at their local schools 4-6 weeks in advance of the exams.
Future of high school graduation measures
We expect NYSED to re-schedule the planned forums to obtain feedback from various constituents on high school graduation measures including the use of Regents exams. This process is critical to ensure a comprehensive and democratic process to evaluate this important milestone of public education. We look forward to engaging in this process.
We appreciate the opportunity to share our positions and hope to see them included in NYSED’s plan for regents this year.
Sincerely, PLACE NYC