The New York State Education Department released a plan to change current requirements for high school diplomas. Here's what we know so far.

New York Making Regents Exams Voluntary

The state Education Department released a plan to phase out Regents tests as a requirement for high school diplomas. Regents tests will still be required for at least one more school year, school officials said. This proposal comes as thousands of high school students prepare for their exams, all of which are given in June. Those are still required. Nothing can change until the Board of Regents votes.

KEEP IN MIND- The Board of Regents won’t get the formal proposal until November.

How Would New York Schools Structure Alternatives?

According to Times Union, if the change occurs, students will have to prove their proficiency in various 21st-century skills:

"That proof could still be an exam, and the Regents tests will still be offered. Students will also still have to pass required high school classes. But they could do projects, presentations, have real-world experiences like internships or even act in a performing group to prove their skills without a test. The new skills students will have to prove they have mastered include critical thinking, innovative problem solving, being literate across the content areas and effective communication."

Why Make These Changes?

NYSED recommends these changes so that students will no longer need to pass the Regents exams or a +1 Pathway Assessment in order to graduate from high school. Regents Examinations will continue to be available as one of the measures by which students may demonstrate their proficiency in meeting the State’s learning standards.

1) Students will continue to be assessed through multiple measures at the local level to demonstrate their learning.

2) Students will still take specific state-level assessments required by federal law to track progress across New York.

So What's Next?

This summer, state education officials will meet with school districts to learn what they might need to implement this “expanded choice” for graduation requirements. Also again, The Board of Regents won’t get the formal proposal until November to vote on.

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