Open Letter to the Members of the Board of Regents on CDOS

Members of the Board of Regents,

The unintended consequence of the regulations for a CDOS and the changes to the requirements for receiving a local diploma is that a significant number of students who are challenged academically, but able to complete the required course work, will face many more obstacles in life then they would had they been able to earn a local diploma with the Regents Competency Tests.
First, a student who is issued a CDOS, and no diploma, is marked as a special needs student, which violates the student’s right to privacy and confidentiality.
Second, a CDOS is currently not recognized as a valid credential for admission to college, trade school, the military, civil service or the federal government.  Currently, there is no reference to a CDOS on the New York State Department of Labor web site.
Third, by creating an NYS only high school credential, NY students are barred from applying for jobs in states that would not recognize a CDOS as anything.
I ask that you bring these issues to the Board of Regents meeting on Monday.
Four percent of my school district’s class of 2015 will only qualify for a CDOS under the current regulations implemented by the Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department.
These students are capable of passing the classwork and earning the required credits but are barred from earning a diploma because of their inability to pass a standard regents exam.
Their options are to either remain in school until they are 21, placing an additional burden on the school district, or to be coded as a drop out after completing four years of high school.
This is happening in every school district in New York State.
It has been well documented in the press that there have been issues with the new tests aligned with the Common Core curriculum.
According to the NYSED answer key for the ELA regents, it is 72 pages long.   How difficult do  the Members of the Board of Regents need to make it for these students to earn a basic diploma?
I look forward to your response.
Christine Zirkelbach
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3 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Members of the Board of Regents on CDOS

  1. Pingback: Understanding CDOS and Ending the Silence – May 14, 2015 | Jolyn's Education Corner

  2. Hello Christine – I got your name and this awesome post from Anna Shah. I would love to connect with you on how to really hit home with our district this very issue. It’s like you were reading my mind as you wrote this! Have you received any response back? We are currently pulling out of public school till this gets fixed. So frustrating!!!

    Thank you for your time!
    Suzanne Sileno

    • I was recently able to speak with Regent Cashin and Regent Rosa, who are very understanding. It seems to me that Regent Young’s position on this issue is shifting. Assemblywoman Janet Duprey and I have recently exchanged emails on this issue, and I introduced her to the Diploma Coalition which is part of Advocates for Children. And, word is coming from public education advocates that this has been an issue at Meet the Candidate nights across the state. The pressure is increasing, it is up to us to keep it going.

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