The Regents discussed the Regents Pathways plan in October and will vote on the amendment to the graduation requirements tomorrow.
New York State is the only state that requires 5 high stakes exams in order to earn any type of diploma. Up until graduation year 2014, students were required to take a Regents in Math, Science, English Language Arts, US History and Global History & Geography. Special Ed students had a safety net called the RCTs, or Regents Competency Tests.
For graduation year 2015, the RCT option is removed.
The Math and ELA regents are now “Common Core aligned”, and are written to be vocabulary tests. The cut score for the first Algebra 1 Regents was set to a 33, out of 100.
The IEP diploma was removed.
In fact, during the October meeting when they discussed Regents Pathways, the fact that parents are complaining that the bar is too high, and many students who want to graduate cannot,
Tisch dismissed the IEP diploma as “nothing”.
I would point out to Tisch that it was better then a CDOS which actually is nothing, as no one recognizes it as a graduation credential and you cannot get a job or go to college with it.
In the effort to put more “rigor” into public schools, the NYS Board of Regents has raised the bar for graduation requirements, which will cause an increase in non-completers (or drop-outs) among SPED and ELL students.
Now, here is the other problem. Global History and Geography is the most frequently failed Regents exam among all students.
This exam covers hundreds of years of history for multiple countries and is two years worth of material. There are students throughout New York State who cannot pass this exam and graduate.
Enter the Regents Pathways, which will allow students to replace the Global History Regents with another test in a trade or other area.
The 4+1 pathway option would apply beginning with students who first enter
grade nine in September 2011 and thereafter or who are otherwise eligible to receive a
high school diploma in June 2015 and thereafter.
The amendment would create graduation pathways assessments in the Humanities, STEM, Bi-literacy (languages other than English [LOTE]), CTE and the Arts and would require that, in addition to the
four Regents Exams or department-approved alternative assessments required of all
students in each of the areas of English, mathematics, science, and social studies,
students may pass any one of the following to meet the fifth assessment requirement:
So, if you failed the GHG exam, and you want to graduate in 2015, you can pass a test in an area that has never had a regents exam before.
This definitely adds another revenue stream to Pearson, but why push a wide area of testing? What is the curriculum for these tests?
How do you expect students to pass a Regents by June so that they can graduate, when nothing has been designed. And, then why call this a Regents diploma? Why not just reinstate the local diploma and relax the incessant testing requirements?