FairTest weighed in on the New York State’s high school graduation exams in a published letter to New York Newsday, arguing that New York’s high school graduation exams constitute “an antiquated system that does nothing to help students succeed in college or the real world,” and calling for “more opportunities for performance-based assessments.” https://www.newsday.com/opinion/letters/regents-exams-democrats-ji10m9i5
The text of the letter was as follows:
Abandoning Regents exams does not abandon educational standards. Nor does it remove accountability. All that dropping the exams would do is put a merciful end to an antiquated system that does nothing to help students succeed in college or the real world.
Regents exams are simply tests of memorization of material that bear little connection to academic disciplines in college and test none of the higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills required in the modern economy. In fact, by driving curriculum and instruction, the exams suppress educational innovation and inhibit teaching real workplace skills. Grading puffery, cutoff score manipulation and school inequality — something that standardized tests have never addressed and never will eradicate — undercut the exams’ objectivity.
The state should instead develop more opportunities for performance-based assessments like those used by more than 30 schools of the New York Performance Standards Consortium. That system is proven valid and reliable and fosters the deeper learning called for by the board. Students graduating from those schools have much higher rates of postgraduate success in college, as demonstrated by a 2020 study of consortium graduates.
Rather than sentencing students to inferior education, New York needs to take a leap into the modern world.