Regent exams: Restrictions for NY students

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Following a Tuesday announcement that New York state officials want to allow students to easily appeal failing scores on Regents exams, some important restrictions have been identified.

Currently, students can appeal failing scores of 60-64, with some exceptions for students learning English as a new language and students with disabilities.

However, there are more restrictions.

Students can only appeal a score if they’ve failed the exam at least twice, have passed the related course, have received extra academic help in the subject, and are recommended for an exemption by a teacher or department chair. Each of these states conditions must be met before an appeal could he considered.

Also, students can only appeal scores on two of their five Regents exams that are required to graduate.

Among the proposed conditions, students must pass the related course although they don’t need to meet any of these other requirements through next school year.

Their parent or guardian may refuse a granted appeal if they want the student to receive more instruction.

Regents exams have been a long debated topic. New York is one of about twelve states that administers a high school exit exam.

State officials are rethinking the role of the exam and will launch a pilot program looking at new ways to earn a diploma. In recent years, the Regents have made it easier to meet exam requirements by approving more pathways to graduation and lowering the score needed for an appeal.

Noteworthy, this will be the third school year that state officials have made changes to the rules of Regents exams in response to the pandemic. The exams were cancelled when the pandemic first hit in the 2019-2020 school year. In the 2020-2021 school year, students were not required to pass exams in order to graduate as they currently are, and most Regents exams were canceled. January exams were canceled this year during the omicron surge.

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