Regents tests in January cancelled due to ‘unpredictable nature of the pandemic’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2021 at 11:03 am

The State Education Department has cancelled the High School Regents in January due to the Covid-19 pandemic, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced on Tuesday.

No decision has been made about the Regents in June and August, or any other state assessments.

“Educators, school staff, communities, and families have taken painstaking efforts to ensure a safe and healthy school year,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said in a statement. “Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, the recent acceleration in Covid-19 infections, and continuing upheaval the virus has caused in schools across the state, this decision is the right one. New York’s students will continue to have access to high-quality coursework while allowing districts to prioritize the health and safety of our school communities.”

Due to the cancellation of the January examinations, the State Education Department will ask the Board of Regents to approve modifications to the assessment requirements that students must meet to earn high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements, Rosa said.

These modifications apply to all students who are completing a secondary-level course of study or make-up program in January and are scheduled to participate in one or more of the January Regents.

“New York set a daunting record last week with more Covid-19 cases reported in one day than ever before,” Rosa said. “Once again, the January Regents Exams cannot be safely, equitably, and fairly administered across the state. We will continue to work with our schools, districts, and stakeholders to ensure they have what they need to provide academic, social and emotional, and mental health supports for our students.”

The New York State United Teachers issued a statement in support of canceling the Regents next month.

“Given the unevenness of this school year with the pandemic still ongoing and the acute social-emotional needs of our students, canceling the January Regents exams is the right choice,” the United Teachers said in a news release. “We thank Commissioner Rosa, Chancellor Young and the Board of Regents for recognizing that our educators are still assessing their students, preparing them to receive their diplomas and setting them up for success after graduation without this round of state exams.”