Get Ready For The Regents Exams
Chancellor Rudolph R. Crew
our children’s level of achievement has been my primary mission
since becoming Chancellor, and many of the initiatives we’ve introduced
in our schools are aimed at ensuring that our students reach their
fullest potential. I am pleased that the State of New York also
embraces our belief in the importance of student achievement and
is working as our partner in raising standards.
Last summer, the State Board of Regents and State Education Commissioner
Richard P. Mills developed tougher requirements for all high school
students in New York State. I enthusiastically support this measure
because it means all our students will learn more challenging
material and all will earn The New York State Regents’ Diploma—a
nationally recognized symbol of educational excellence. This diploma
will put our students in good standing to compete in an increasingly
competitive job market.
These new requirements will be introduced in phases, beginning
next year. By Spring 2003, all high school students will be required
to pass Regents examinations in these five important “core” subjects—English,
mathematics, global studies, U.S. history and government, and
science. We are working now to ensure that students with limited
English proficiency and special needs receive the proper support
they will need to pass these exams.
Students will not be required to take and pass all five exams
in the first year. The first required exam, the English Regents,
will be given in the spring of 1999 to students who are currently
sophomores. Students who fail this exam will have three additional
opportunities to take the test before they graduate.
All students, regardless of their native language, must take the
English Regents in English. For foreign students who first entered
the school system in high school and may not have the language
skills necessary to pass the other four exams. These tests will
be offered in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Russian, Chinese and Korean.
In addition to the five tests, the passing grade will also be
phased in. In the first year, 55 will be the passing grade, but
by the year 2003, the passing grade will be increased to 65. Students
who wish to earn an even more prestigious diploma will have the
opportunity to pursue the Advanced Regents Diploma. They must
pass the five exams mentioned earlier as well as three additional
tests—one in mathematics, one in science, and one in a foreign
have taken a number of steps to ensure that our children are well
prepared to meet the state requirements and pass these exams.
Our high school division has long recognized the need to provide
increased, intensive instruction time to get our students ready
for the rigors of college and the workplace. The successful math
and science initiative, which provides entering ninth– and tenth–graders
with remedial instruction during the summer and school year, has
resulted in an increase in the number of students who take and
pass these Regents exams. Here are the highlights of other initiatives:
are eager to provide our students with multiple resources to prepare
them for higher standards. Together with the support of parents
and other members of the school community, we can motivate and encourage
students to take advantage of the learning opportunities being offered
outside the typical school day.
programs before, during and after school are designed to help
students prepare for test taking. Teachers and students have
more opportunity to work one-on-one during this time.
Schools and independent study sessions are opportunities for
students to work on academic enrichment in a more individualized
setting, to catch up on class work they may have missed, and
to earn credits toward graduation.
periods (sometimes referred to as Extended Day Program) are
back-to- back periods assigned to students who have demonstrated
a need for more instructional time in a core academic subject
such as, English or science.
Borough Literacy Centers in every high school district are open
each Saturday, as places for teachers to work with students
on building their reading and writing skills.
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