NYSED acting on state 2021 diploma requirement, testing exemptions

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Board of Regents acted on a series of emergency regulations to allow for exemptions to 2021 diploma requirements. According to the Board these revisions are associated with the June 2021 and August 2021 Regents Examinations.

The Board of Regents emergency actions included cancelling the August 2021 Regents Exams. Additionally the Board stated that is the U.S. Department of Education denied the exemption, only four of the June 2021 Regents will be administered, Session One of the Grades 3-8 English Language Art and Math Tests will be required, and only the one-session Written Test component of the Grades 4 and 8 Science Tests will be administered.

NYSED also aims to extend exemption eligibility for pathway assessments, alternative assessments, technical assessments, and locally developed tests through the 2020-21 school year.

“As we continue to see a global pandemic impact our schools and students in every corner of the state, the Board and I are determined to complete this school year in a manner that protects the health and safety of all of New York’s children,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. “While we were disappointed by the USDE decision not to grant blanket waivers for state assessments, we are confident that the regulatory amendments acted on today and other assessment-related actions by the Department provide for the flexibility necessary to meet federal requirements while ensuring the well-being of those in our school buildings.”

New York State previously submitted a federal waiver to omit all state-mandated examinations for the 2020-2021 academic year. However, the United Stated Department of Education rejected the waiver on February 23, 2021.

“The Department continues to engage with USDE in regard to finding the best path forward in offering state assessments for the children of New York,” said NYSED Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “In order to inform these discussions, we are engaging with stakeholders across the state to gain insight on the local approaches to student assessment.  The regulatory amendments advanced today provide fairness for our students; however we remain hopeful that USDE will provide the necessary waivers to allow our educators to remain engaged in the important work of fostering a safe and healthy learning environment for each child in New York state.”

NYSED shared that to qualify for Regents exam exemptions, students must meet one of the following criteria:

  • The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents Examination and by the end of the 2021 school year, or the 2021 summer session, will have earned credit in such course of study;
  • The student was previously enrolled in the course culminating in the applicable Regents Examination, has achieved course credit, and has not yet passed the associated required Regents Examination but was intending to take the test in June 2021 or August 2021 to achieve a passing score; or
  • The student is in grade 7 or 8, is enrolled in a course of study culminating in taking a Regents Examination and has met the standards assessed in the provided coursework.

The State confirmed that these emergency regulations will become effective March 16, 2021.

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