State Education Dept. cancels Regents in June

Posted 7 April 2020 at 1:17 pm

Press Release, State Education Department

The State Education Department announced the cancellation of the June 2020 administration of Regents Exams and today released guidance on modifications to requirements for students to graduate and earn their high school diplomas, credentials and endorsements.

In addition, due to the school closures related to COVID-19, the Department delayed the rollout of state assessments aligned to the grades 3-8 Next Generation Learning Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for one year, to spring 2022. Similarly, the alignment of state assessments to the New York P-12 Science Learning Standards will begin in spring 2023. Further, the state extended its current Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Testing contract by one year.

“In times of crisis difficult decisions must be made and the Board of Regents knows these are ultimately the right ones for New York’s students,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “We are putting the safety of children, families and educators first, while ensuring that the hard work done by our students and teachers is honored. These are extraordinary decisions for an unprecedented time, and we thank our school communities for their support and continuing dedication during the statewide school closure.”

Regents Exams and Diploma Requirements

The COVID-19 emergency has evolved rapidly, leading to uncertainty as to when regular in-school classroom instruction will be able to resume throughout the state and whether students will be adequately prepared to take the Regents examinations. As a result, the Board of Regents and Department have cancelled the June 2020 administration of the NYS High School Regents Examination Program.

Because of this, the Department has modified the requirements that students must meet in order to earn high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements. These modifications apply to all students enrolled in grades 7-12 during the 2019-20 school year who were intending to participate in one or more of the June 2020 Regents Examinations.

Students who, during the June 2020 examination period would have taken one or more Regents examinations, will be exempted from passing the assessments in order to be issued a diploma. To qualify for the exemption, students must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

• The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have earned credit in such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or

• The student is in grade 7, is enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have passed such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or

• The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and has failed to earn credit by the end of the school year. Such student returns for summer instruction to make up the failed course and earn the course credit and is subsequently granted diploma credit in August 2020; or

• The student was previously enrolled in the course of study leading to an applicable Regents examination, has achieved course credit, and has not yet passed the associated Regents examination but intended to take the test in June 2020 to achieve a passing score.

NYSED Guidance issued on March 13, 2020 outlined the requirements for granting diploma credit for courses interrupted by the COVID-19 closures.

Elementary-and Intermediate-Level State Assessment Contract Extended

In March, the Department made the unprecedented decision to suspend administration of the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math assessments for the remainder of this school year, due to the statewide closure of schools related to COVID-19.

At the time of this decision, the state assessments were prepared and ready to be administered. To make use of these assessments that were  developed by New York State educators and due to the delay in the timeline for assessments based on NGLS, the Department has extended the state’s current contract with Questar Assessment, Inc.

The Office of the State Comptroller approved an extension of the Questar contract to administer both the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math operational tests and the spring standalone field tests (SAFT), based on these extraordinary circumstances. NYSED has cancelled the current Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new assessment vendor contract and will reissue it at a later date.

NYSED and the Board of Regents remain in continued contact with the Department of Health, the Division of Homeland Security, the Office of Children and Family Services and the Governor’s Office. As the situation has evolved, so have our guidance and resources, which are continually being updated and added to the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 website.

“Every day we see more and more examples of the tireless dedication of educators, administrators and parents to support their students as they continue to learn and work toward a meaningful diploma during the state of emergency and we are grateful to them for their efforts,” Interim Commissioner Tahoe said. “During this time of great uncertainty, the Department has developed this guidance to ensure that students who were on track to graduate this year will have that opportunity.”

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