Thursday, June 09, 2011

January Sounds Far Away, But...'s not far from the mind of high school teachers and principals, who are asking the state to reconsider the discontinuance of January Regents exams. New York State requires that students pass a minimum of five Regents exams to graduate from high school, and in the past, they have been offered three times a year: January, June, and August. With January's administration out the window, New York students will only have 2 shots a year at the exams.

Understandably, this makes high school teachers and principals upset and nervous, which is to say nothing of the kids. With schools set to be judged even more by test scores for the upcoming school year, losing 1 of 3 chances to boost their numbers will hurt. And it's a blow to the kids who struggle with the tests as well; I personally know kids who have tried to pass certain exams 3 and 4 times before actually succeeding. The principals, in the open letter linked above, called the Board of Regents' move "penny wise and pound foolish," noting that the elimination of the administration of the January Regents saves the state less than 0.01% of the overall state education budget.

It is absurd and, frankly, unfair to cut back the administration of these crucial exams during a time in which these scores count more than ever for students, teachers, and principals. The State Board of Regents should reconsider.

And are we all enjoying this opportunity to dream, if briefly, of frosty January? Wishing you all a Chancellor's Conference Day/Brooklyn-Queens Day full of plentiful air conditioning.
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