The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has canceled January Regents Examinations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Throughout the pandemic our priority has been the health and wellbeing of our students and educators,” said Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “We determined the January Regents exams could not be safely, equitably and fairly administered across the state given where the pandemic currently stands. We will continue to monitor applicable data and make a decision on other State assessment programs as the school year progresses, being mindful of the evolving situation.”
NYSED plans to submit a proposal at the December Board of Regents meeting to modify requirements for high school diplomas, so the cancellation will not affect students about to graduate.
Due to the cancellation of the January 2021 Regents Exams, NYSED will propose modifications to the assessment requirements that students must meet in order to earn high school diplomas, credentials, & endorsements at the Dec Board of Regents meeting. https://t.co/gOpB98LSVD
— NYS Education Department (@NYSEDNews) November 5, 2020
To avoid a negative impact on all students, NYSED will also ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations to put exemptions in place for students who meet one of the following requirements:
- Currently enrolled in a course of study that would ordinarily culminate in the taking of a January 2021 Regents Examination and earn credit for such course of study by the end of the first semester of the 2020-21 school year; or
- Between Sept. 1, 2020 and the end of the first semester of the 2020-21 school year, successfully complete a make-up program for the purpose of earning course credit; or
- Be preparing to take a required Regents Examination to graduate at the end of the first semester of the 2020-21 school year.
NYSED also canceled the June Regents earlier this year because of the pandemic, and modified high school diploma requirements for the Class of 2020. Rosa says a decision has not yet been made about whether Regents exams in June and August of 2021 will take place.
The New York State United Teachers union president, Andy Pallotta, released the following statement regarding the decision:
“In the interest of safety, equity and fairness, canceling the January Regents exams is the right choice. We applaud Interim Commissioner Rosa, the Board of Regents and the State Education Department for putting students first with changes to state exam requirements that still allow them to achieve a diploma without being penalized during this pandemic.”