Special Education
April 15, 2011

Fact Sheet 12: 55-64 Passing Score and the RTC Safety Net for Students with Disabilities

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Effective October 24, 2005, the Board of Regents amended Section 100.5 of the Regulations to allow students with disabilities who enter grade nine in 2005 and thereafter, to meet local diploma requirements by earning a score of at least 55 on the five required Regents exams. The 55-64 passing score is no longer a local option and must be made available by all school districts to students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school according to sections 3203 or 4402(5) of Education Law. Similar to the Regents Competency Test (RCT) safety net which is described below, the 55-64 passing score to meet the requirements for a local diploma also applies to students identified by the Section 504 multidisciplinary team (MDT). The MDT must include this allowance in the 504 accommodation plan. This provision also applies to students with disabilities who have been declassified while in grades 8 through 12, if recommended and documented by the school district’s Committee on Special Education.

In December 2009, the New York State Board of Regents approved an extension to the RCT safety net for students with disabilities. This action extends the RCT safety net for an additional year to make it available to all eligible students with disabilities entering ninth grade through the 2010-11 school year. The safety net allows all students with disabilities who do not pass one or more of the required Regents examinations, to instead, meet testing requirements for the local diploma by passing the corresponding RCT. The school may administer the RCT before or after the Regents examination, but, in all cases, the student must take the required Regents examinations in order to earn the local diploma.

According to the State Education Department (SED), students with disabilities continue to make considerable progress in achieving the state learning standards with increasing numbers taking and passing Regents examinations. However, there is still a significant achievement gap between students with disabilities and general education students, especially for students with disabilities in districts with low resources.


Which students qualify for the 55-64 Passing Score and the RCT safety net?

  • Students with disabilities identified through a Committee on Special Education (CSE). Specific language regarding the availability of the safety net does not have to be indicated on the student's
    Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  • Students with disabilities identified through the Section 504 Multidisciplinary Team (MDT), if recommended and documented by the MDT on the student's Accommodation Plan.
  • Students with disabilities declassified while in grades 8-12 if recommended and documented by the CSE on the student’s IEP.

83977 NYSUT Research and Educational Services – 3/2011

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