The New York State Department of Education is speeding up its schedule to overhaul graduation procedures that could set the end of standardized testing as a requirement for obtaining high school diplomas.
Education officials announced at their monthly Board of Trustees meeting Monday that a statewide committee tasked with making the recommendations will conclude in November, instead of June 2024. The group is considering a variety of ways students can demonstrate readiness to graduate.
“It’s not about getting rid of Regents,” said Angelique Johnson-Dingell, deputy commissioner for educational support at the Department of Education. “It is about ensuring that all students have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a way that best suits them.”
a 64 members The Blue Ribbon Committee will meet in person for a few days at the end of July to begin developing their recommendations for the new policy.
“There was a narrative that we already had an idea of what we wanted the recommendations to be, and that simply isn’t true,” Johnson-Dingell said.
The group studied current measures and met with the Department of Labor and Empire State Development, as well as SUNY, SUNY and Long Island University, about the skills high school graduates need to succeed in college and jobs.
Some of these priorities could include focusing on so-called ‘soft’ skills such as self-motivation or punctuality and attendance, or technical expertise with computers or software such as Excel.
The Department of Education will also experiment with different methods of assessing whether students are absorbing the material, such as graduation projects, presentations, and portfolios.
“One of the great things about this approach is that actual assessment is a learning time,” said Regent Francis Wells, a member of the committee.
New York is a remote area of the country in terms of graduation procedures. Before the pandemic, only 11 states still required students to take exit exams to obtain a high school diploma.
Advocates of eliminating this requirement argue that there is no evidence that exit exams increase student achievement or increase earnings for jobs thereafter.
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During the winter season, the country reviewed A 161-page report Offering exit exams may increase dropout rates, “with particularly large effects among black students.”
However, Commissioner Betty Rosa lamented the “optics” that the Department for Education is lowering standards, while the same criticism It does not apply to other entities that reform examinations Possible reference to college board easing African American studies exam after conservative backlash.
Graduation scale proponents say it’s a particularly bad time to remove the assessment tool as students regain learning lost during school closures.
The overhaul comes amid many changes in how students earn a diploma since the Covid outbreak.
Last year, students could challenge Regents’ scores as low as 50 to qualify for a diploma, a pandemic emergency policy that was renewed this summer.
Regents exams were also canceled in spring 2020, and then abolished as a graduation requirement the following academic year, meaning students were awarded a diploma as long as they passed the course associated with each exam.
“I think this is the most important work we will do going forward,” said Regent Aramina Ferrer. “We are in a position to do something really significant and important for children.”