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Regents pass new diploma system

March 4, 2011

It’s now the class of 2014, not the class of 2012 that will face a minimum score requirement on state tests. But state officials have officially abandoned a controversial tiered diploma system to recognize high achieving students

The Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary voted 5-1 in favor of the new requirements, which call for high school students to get a score of partially proficient or better on state tests to graduate.

Critics say the state exam known as the NECAP was never intended as a high stakes test, and they point out that a disproportionately high number of minority and low income students will struggle to meet the new requirement.

State officials say students who do not meet the minimum score can still graduate if they show progress between junior and senior year and complete all other requirements for graduation. There is also a waiver possible for students facing special circumstances.

Gone entirely is the much criticized tiered diploma system. High achieving students will get the same diploma as everyone else, but they may get a special seal from the board of regents indicating their high score on state exams.

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