Leaders push for Regents make-up exams

Local lawmakers are calling for a do-over. They want high school students to have another chance to take Regents exams missed because of the weather.

The January Regents are already a “do-over” for kids who need to pass those tests in order to graduate.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, “We have students who have been preparing for an entire semester, from the day they walked into school in September until last week, goal number one was to pass one the Regents they needed to pass.”

For some of those students, it’s their second or third try at exams they need to pass in order to graduate, and get into college. Educators say it’s unfair and simply wrong for State Ed to deny at-risk students that opportunity, by not rescheduling.

North Tonawanda City Schools Superintendent Gregory Woytila said, “We hear a lot of, ‘college and career-ready,’ and we’re not giving the kids every opportunity that they could take to be college and career-ready by not offering this one more chance.”

“We’ve leveraged our resources and we have those students so prepared and ready to take that exam on Tuesday.These are kids that had given up their lunches at times, to get a little extra tutelage,” said Springville-Griffith Institute Principal.

Randolph Academy Assistant Superintendent Margaret Jones-Carey added, “It’s really time to think differently. I think what we have now is an old system.”

Ryan is demanding Commissioner John King reschedule this round of exams, and come up with a future contingency plan for weather emergencies.

“At a time when we’re putting a lot of emphasis and a lot of pressure on schools, and we’re telling schools, teachers, administrators, students, parents, ‘We have to change the way we’re doing things.’ Students are up for this challenge. But State Ed seems to be handcuffing them at the same time,” Ryan said.

But the State Education Department says it doesn’t have the resources to schedule a make-up before the end of the school year in June.

Deputy Commissioner Ken Wagner says while everyone at State Ed sympathizes with the students who weren’t able to take the Regents, rescheduling just isn’t financially feasible.

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