Commission recommends more options for high school students to graduate

Recommendations released to change graduation requirements

Panel makes recommendations on revamping state graduation requirements

A commission on New York state graduation standards has recommended that students be given more options to fulfill graduation requirements.

The state Board of Regents on Monday presented the findings of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures. The recommendations include offering more assessment options.

The commission found that while Regents exams were valid and reliable, they said they are not sufficient assessments.

The panel also recommended creating more specific requirements to address unique circumstances of certain groups of students, including new students and refugee students, and providing exemptions for students with certain cognitive disabilities and major life events, according to a news release.

Other recommendations are to include civic responsibility, cultural competence, financial literacy, science, technology, engineering and mathematics and writing for real-world scenarios in diploma requirements.

Commissioner Betty Rosa commented on the standards, saying they will create a more inclusive learning environment. 

“Every student has unique talents, skills, and interests, and a one-size-fits-all approach fails to recognize and nurture these differences,” she said in a statement. “We must remove barriers and facilitate equitable access to education by addressing the individual needs of students, increasing opportunities for work-based learning or college readiness programs, and providing students with practical skills and experiences that enhance their employability and post-secondary education opportunities.

The New York State United Teachers union said it agreed with the recommendations.

“The recommendations recognize what educators know so well. That each of our students is a unique learner with talents, skills and aspirations that should be fully explored and nurtured on their way to graduation,” the union said in a statement.

MORE: Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures