Per Amy Zimmer of Chalkbeat New York, the State Board of Regents plans to make it easier for students who miss or fail their Regents exams to receive a diploma anyway, citing disruptions created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The proposal would allow students to request a special determination and receive a local diploma, rather than a Regents diploma. Requesting this option would be available to students who passed their classes but missed or failed the Regents exam because of extenuating circumstances.

This is only the latest in a string of policy changes by the Board of Regents to account for both the physical and mental toll the Covid-19 pandemic took on students. In the last two years, the state has loosened the requirements for graduation and even canceled many of the exams last year.

Additionally, per a report by Susan Edelman and Gabrielle Fonrouge of the New York Post, the history Regent exam was already canceled this year due to content on the test that could cause students additional trauma in the wake of the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo.

Some believe that New York should no long administer the Regents exams at all. That push has come from parents and teachers who believe the Regents exams are outdated and note that many other states don't require students to pass similar exams to receive their diploma. Even in the years before the Covid-19 pandemic, New York State was making it easier for students to receive diplomas without actually passing the Regents exams.

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