regents exams

New York

State to allow some students to substitute grades for Regents

City high school seniors who needed to take a Regents exam to graduate this month with a local diploma will not need to reschedule the test, state education officials announced today. Instead, those students will be able to use passing course grades to fulfill their graduation requirements. Students are normally required to take five Regents exams to graduate. Students must score above a 55 for the test to be counted towards a local diploma; for the more rigorous Regents diploma, they must reach the 65 mark. Seniors who want to earn a Regents diploma must wait to re-take the exams in June, the next time they are offered. The January tests that would have been given today will not be re-administered. This raises the stakes for some seniors who plan to graduate in June by reducing the number of opportunities they have to pass the exam this year. State Education Commissioner David Steiner encouraged students to wait and sit for the exams later in the year. "We hold a Regents Diploma as the goal for all," he said in a statement. "However, this is the fairest course of action for the seniors affected this week." City and state officials spent the day discussing how to accommodate students who needed to take exams today to graduate as planned. “We are pleased the State took this step that will alow those seniors with sufficient credits and coursework to graduate this month," Chancellor Cathie Black said in a statement. "However, we fully understand how disappointing it must be to all of those students who studied so hard for their Regents exams, and for the teachers and parents who worked with them.” City officials estimated that between 400 and 500 students would benefit from the state's decision. Last year, just under 3,500 students graduated between January and May. Of those students, roughly 400 used the winter Regents exams to fulfill graduation requirements.
New York

Oversight of Regents scoring has serious flaws, state audit finds

The New York State Education Department is failing to ensure that Regents tests are properly scored, according to an audit published today by the state comptroller's office. The exams are given to high school students, who have to pass five in different subject areas in order to receive a Regents diploma. Teachers normally administer and score the tests under the supervision of each school's principal, and the school district is responsible for reporting scores to the state. The audit focused on the review process the state uses to ensure the scoring is accurate and consistent. In these reviews, a group of teachers and NYSED officials re-score a random selection of exams and compare them to how the tests were originally scored to judge the accuracy. The review team then makes recommendations to the state and to schools about how to improve the scoring process. In the most recent review, completed in 2005, the scores awarded by schools were routinely higher than the scores given by the reviewers, and reviewers reported that school scorers frequently assigned full credit to student answers that were "vague, incomplete, inaccurate or insufficiently detailed." But auditors found little to suggest that the state followed up to improve the process, the report says. "For example, we found no evidence actions were taken to implement the Review team's recommendations to improve scoring training and enhance quality control during the scoring process. We also found no evidence actions were taken to bring about improvements at particular schools," the auditors write.
New York

Regents are weighing procedural rules for "credit recovery"

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