February 4, 2000
Students ace Regents English
92% pass rate shows kids can meet standards
Some 92 percent of New York State's high-school seniors have passed a tough new English Regents test they must successfully take before graduating.
"This shows that our students can meet this challenge, and that it's unwise, unnecessary, and unfair to them to relax or postpone the standards," said Margarita Mayo, The Business Council's education specialist.
"Passing this test means much more than passing the old, easier Regents Competency tests," she added. "Some students haven't made it yet, but most kids have learned more because of the standards."
More than 114,220 seniors passed the exam by scoring 55 or higher. Of the other 10,042 seniors, nearly half have not yet taken the test, which will be offered again in April and June.
This test is the first new hurdle placed before students as a result of the new standards, which are being phased in over the next five years.
By 2004, students in public schools will have to pass Regents exams in English, math, American history, global studies and a science to earn a diploma.
The Business Council has identified education as a top priority for 2000, and is urging lawmakers to resist public pressure from some school districts and others to relax or postpone the standards.