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No vote on Regents waivers yet

The official decision regarding Regents waivers for a group of New York City high schools has yet to be made, despite a Board of Regents meeting that many thought would include a vote on the issue.

According to a New York State Education Department spokesperson, the Regents waivers—which would exempt the schools from most of the state exams and allow them to evaluate students based on performance assessments—were not discussed at the Board’s Wednesday morning meeting. The Board is not expected to convene again until mid-September.

A few weeks ago, some school leaders were notified that their waiver requests were likely to be approved, which would have ended a years-long wait for these schools, many of which have been administering performance assessments alongside the Regents exams to prepare for future test exemption. Now it is unclear when the vote will take place.

Twenty-eight city schools currently have Regents waivers. These schools, along with the ones still waiting for test exemption but already using performance assessments, adhere to guidelines set by the New York Performance Standards Consortium. The guidelines require students to defend their work—including a literary essay, science experiment, social studies research paper, and math project—in front of an audience. All schools with waivers still must administer the English Regents exams.

Both the Department of Education and the teacher’s union have supported efforts to obtain waivers for the new handful of schools.

An official from the Performance Standards Consortium did not respond to requests for comment.

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