Between Politics and a Hard Place

I have been making some phone calls and asking some questions about a bill introduced into the NYS Senate by Senator Farley.  It is a relatively simple bill, it would legislate an extension for the RCT option for students graduating through 2016 so that those SPED students who struggle with testing because of a learning difference or reading disability, but have average IQs, would still be able to graduate.

http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S5362-2015

This seems like a decent idea, toss some students a lifeline so that they have a chance at a decent full time job, or college down the road, or good vocational training.

So, what is the problem?  A Republican Senator introduced the bill and the Democratic Assembly would rather ruin children’s lives then back the Assembly version sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco.

http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/A7569-2015

In 2014, 5% of students graduated with a local diploma, which means they used an RCT to substitute for at least one Regents exam.

NYSED claims a 3% increase in graduation rates over 4 years.  How will they spin the fact that they are instituted policies that will prevent students from graduating?