Students and teachers can perhaps breathe a sigh of relief after it was announced last Tuesday by New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa that June exit exams will be canceled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The move comes after New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that schools throughout the state will be continued to be closed through Wednesday, April 29, to help stop the spread of the virus.
“The State Education Department has canceled Regents exams for June 2020 and rightfully so,” New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider said in a statement. “No student should be denied course credit or a high school diploma or otherwise penalized due to these extraordinary circumstances. Guidance issued by the New York Department of Education focuses on ensuring learning outcomes and standards, rather than on testing. In our view, that is the proper focus. Teachers and administrators are making every effort to deliver instruction, and should be applauded for that. At the same time, it would be unrealistic to expect that all students are receiving equal opportunities for instruction under the current circumstances.”
Teachers and parents alike were ultimately concerned that students would be ill prepared to take the exams since classes moved to a virtual learning format since mid-March. In August, regent exams are also available for students to take. So far, there are no planned cancellations for those exams, but state officials are still deciding whether or not to conduct them.
The department has also delayed the roll-out of state assessments aligned to grades three through eight’s Next Generation Learning Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for one year to spring 2022. Similarly, the alignment of state assessments to the New York P-12 Science Learning Standards will begin in spring 2023. The state also extended its current grades three through eight ELA and Math Testing contract by one year.
“In times of crisis difficult decisions must be made and the Board of Regents knows these are ultimately the right ones for New York’s students,” Rosa said. “We are putting the safety of children, families and educators first, while ensuring that the hard work done by our students and teachers is honored. These are extraordinary decisions for an unprecedented time and we thank our school communities for their support and continuing dedication during the statewide school closure.”
Due to the cancellation, the department has modified the requirements that students must meet in order to earn high school diplomas, credentials and endorsements. The modifications apply to all students enrolled in grades seven through 12 during the 2019-20 school year who were intending to participate in one or more of the June Regents examinations.
Visit www.nysed.gov to see the full list of student exemptions for the June regents exams.