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What’s next for Regents exams? Coalition says it’s time to rethink testing

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  • Staff Report 

New York State’s education officials are deliberating the fate of the annual Regents examinations, a set of high-stakes tests seen as crucial for high school students to secure a Regents-endorsed diploma. This consideration comes in response to a coalition of advocacy organizations advocating to abolish the necessity for students to pass at least five of these tests as a condition for high school graduation.


The Coalition for Multiple Pathways to a Diploma, comprised of 80 advocacy groups, educators, and families, has presented research suggesting a shift in other states away from exit exam requirements.

The coalition’s research has found that high school graduation exams can contribute to increased dropout rates, particularly among students of color and those from low-income households. It also challenges the assertion that such exit examinations enhance student achievement or boost the value of a high school diploma in the job market. This debate over the significance of the Regents examinations arises as schools are recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic-induced shift to remote learning and the ensuing disruption to traditional classroom environments.