So the New York State Board of Regents is considering dropping the regents exam requirement in order to increase graduation rates. To quote Pretty Woman, “Big mistake, huge!” To lower standards in order to increase diploma recipients flies in the face of sanity and will do nothing but discount the diplomas being earned by New York’s students.
Part of the thinking behind this move, and there does not seem to be much, is that dropping Regents exams will counter the reliance on standardized tests in order to measure student achievement or teacher performance. The reality is that the state exams which have been around for over 100 years are not standardized tests; they are criterion referenced tests which are closely linked to a challenging curriculum. As a matter of fact this type of exam is the best method to judge student growth and overall performance.
If the Regents exams are dropped in order to increase the graduation rates, what will be the next rung on the ladder of excellence? Maybe we should drop the requirements for reading and writing. Big mistake — huge!
Retired teacher, principal, superintendent; Gloversville High School teacher 1972 to 1985; Mayfield High School principal; Fort Plain superintendent.
Slingerlands, Albany County