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Long Island News

New York state Senate Republicans ask the state to cancel upcoming Regents exams

test paper
Andy Barbour
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State Senator Alexis Weik called on New York’s Education Commissioner to cancel the upcoming June and August Regents exams.

Historically, students have been required to pass the exams to receive a Regents diploma. The exams have not been given in two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most recently being canceled in January.

In a letter to State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa, Weik cited inconsistencies in education as reasons to waive the requirement.

“Remote learning, social distancing and other precautionary measures have all posed special challenges for student learning, and with regard to their ability to meet stringent testing and other requirements necessary to achieve a Regents diploma,” Weik wrote.

Anthony Palumbo, a state Senator from the first New York Senate district, said students' mental health was one of the main reasons the tests should be canceled, citing a colleague that has lost two students to suicide since January.

“It’s just additional mental health issues that we've been dealing with regarding the overall stress, going from hybrid back to in-person,” Palumbo said.

Both senators reported recent student suicides in their district. They said students need support, not standardized tests.

“They are still trying to recover and figure out how to deal with what happened during the pandemic and we need to be helping them, not testing them,” Weik said. “This is not a good time to find out what they're learning and what they haven't learned. This is not that time.”