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New York considers making regents exams optional for graduation

New York State is proposing significant changes to high school graduation requirements, with the possibility of making the longstanding Regents exams optional. This shift aims to provide a more equitable education system and cater to diverse student needs.

The proposal also acknowledges the varied paths students may take post-high school, including trade schools or direct entry into the workforce. According to advocates, these changes would allow students with different strengths and career aspirations to thrive and succeed.


Currently, New York is one of only seven states that require passing exams for a high school diploma. The Regents exams have been a staple since the 1990s, but recent recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures suggest rolling them back.

The aim is to provide multiple pathways for students to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities without being hindered by standardized exams.