The Regents in January gave final approval to the Multiple Pathways to Graduation plan, with a 4+1 option that allows students to replace one of the history Regents exams with one prescribed pathway exam. For example, if a student fails the Global Regents, he could substitute a second math or science Regents in order to graduate.
The fifth assessment required for graduation must be one of the following pathway options:
- One additional social studies Regents exam or department-approved alternative; or
- One additional Regents exam in a different course in mathematics or science or a State Education Department-approved alternative (STEM); or
- A pathway exam in a Language Other than English (LOTE) approved by the commissioner; or
- A Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway assessment approved by the commissioner, following successful completion of an approved CTE program; or
- An arts pathway exam approved by the commissioner.
Pathways assessments in the arts and LOTE have not yet been approved by SED.
Locally developed Checkpoint B examinations in LOTE are not approved pathway assessments. Additional CTE assessments will be considered beyond the 13 currently approved.
The adopted amendments also mandate a two-year global history requirement in regulations and modify the design of the Global History Regents exam to a one-year exam.
NYSUT sent a letter of support for the Pathways to Graduation and this was a recommendation in the NYSUT Career and Technical Education 2014 white paper: Unlocking New Futures for New York's High School Graduates. NYSUT also supports the proposed social studies changes. These pathway changes go into effect for students graduating in June 2015.
In other action, the Regents amended graduation regulations to allow English language learners who enter the United States in ninth grade or above to graduate with a local diploma if they score between a 55 and a 61 on the Regents exam in English.
The new process effectively creates a safety net for qualifying ELL students who need only the English Regents to graduate. For more details, see the union's Fact Sheet #14-20 at www.nysut.org.
The Regents also discussed extending the deadline for teaching candidates to take advantage of the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) safety net until June 2016. Final approval is expected at the April meeting.