New York State to reinstate January Regents for 2011-12
August 3, 2011—The New York State Education Department
said it will reinstate the January Regents exams this school year following
the announcement by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools
Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott that they have secured $1.5 million in private
funding to pay for their administration. Previously, NYSED said that it
would not offer the January exams for high school students beginning in
2012, after the Board of Regents voted to eliminate them due to budget cuts.
"We are grateful for this financial support that will provide many students the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in a variety of subjects and allow many to graduate from high school," said David Abrams, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Assessment Policy, Development and Administration.
After fundraising efforts by Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott, six New Yorkers each made donations of $250,000, for a total of $1.5 million, which was accepted by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Fund for Public Schools.
According to a news release issued by the mayor's office, nearly 2,400 of the 3,454 students who graduated in New York City between January and March of 2011 relied on the January exams to earn their diplomas. A large proportion of these students represented the city’s ethnic minorities as well as its most vulnerable populations, including students who have returned to school after dropping out, students with disabilities, English language learners and overage and under-credited students.
“Thousands of high-school students rely on the January Regents Exams to graduate on time and move on to college and careers,” said Chancellor Walcott. “These generous donations give these students the opportunity for an uninterrupted transition to a successful future. We will continue to work with the state legislature and the State Education Department to find a long-term solution so that our students, especially the most vulnerable, have the best chance to succeed.”
Abrams agreed, adding, "a longer term solution for adequate funding remains a Department priority. As you know, the continuing structural imbalance in funding for the past several years led to the difficult decision to discontinue this (January) testing period," he said. "The State Education Department is currently identifying nearly $4 million in cost containment measures to ensure the program remains in balance for the remainder of this year."
The January Regents exams will be administered from January 24-27, 2012, as noted in the district calendar being mailed home to all Guilderland Central School District parents later this month.
While SED has accepted the donation, there are still some questions about which tests will be offered and the specific logistics of holding those exams. Additional information about the January Regents schedule will be shared with students and parents on the district Web site as soon as it becomes available.