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Create alternate paths to a diploma for students in NYS, IMMEDIATELY

This petition had 2,382 supporters

Despite the fact that many, many, many letters have been written and numerous meetings have taken place, that a previous petition raised nearly 5000 signatures, we have made little if any progress.

Currently NYSED requires that every child enrolled in a NYS high school must take regents exams in order to receive a diploma. Even though the Governor himself appointed a task force that has returned a report saying the Common Core is inappropriate and needs to be overhauled, even though scores on grades 3-8 testing will no longer count for anything, high school students are being forced to take Regents exams as the only path to a diploma. 

This policy is detrimental to general education students that might otherwise pursue a vocational path, or are simply poor test takers, ELL’s (English Language Learners) and students with learning disabilities who may not be able to pass common core aligned exams. Having students with disabilities take these exams multiple times, in the hopes of passing, ignores the permanent nature of learning disabilities and incorrectly assumes they will be able to correct mistakes on subsequent testing that are a direct result of their learning differences.

The NYS Board of Regents need to know that it is URGENT that they create a fair, reasonable, accessible path to a diploma for ALL the children in NYS. Children that struggle to learn daily should not be further penalized by a system that does not treat them equitably.

Alternate assessments must be available as an option. The state has already allowed alternate assessments to general education students in NYC Public Schools.  However, they are discriminating against children throughout the rest of the state and children with learning disabilities by not allowing them the exact same opportunities. How is that fair or equitable?

In a further piece of insulting information all children in NYS are required to take Regents exams to attend our colleges, while children outside NY can come to our schools without them.

This egregious error was brought to the attention of the Regents in June of 2015. They have met with parents all over the state and received phone calls and letters and still nothing has changed. Wagner, Tisch and King, the architects of this horrendous policy are out. NOW is the time for change, we call upon the current Regents to right this wrong and do it immediately. The class of 2016 is planning for graduation right now, what will those children that cannot pass Regents exams do after high school? You know it’s broken, fix it, now.

CALL THEM ON IT. DO IT TODAY. Sign this petition but also write a letter to the Board of Regents, the NYS Commissioner, School Chancellor and our Governor. There addresses are listed below. Insist that a 'free appropriate public education” and alternate pathways to a diploma be equally available to ALL of NYS's children. Tell them that discriminating against children outside of the NYC Public school system is just wrong.

A letter template is available here:

Get more information and join the conversation on Facebook here:

I can be reached at

Our current Board of Regents
Current Chancellor of the Board of Regents Meryl Tisch, email

Vice Chancellor Anthony Bottar, email
Represents the following counties Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego,

Members at large
Lester Young email
Wade Norwood, email:
James Cottrell, email:

Roger Tilles, email: Representing Nassau/Suffolk Counties
James Tallon Jr., email: Representing Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties
Charles Bendit, email:, representing New York
Betty Rosa, email:, representing The Bronx
Christine Cea, email:, representing Richmond County
Kathleen Cashin, email:, representing Kings County
T. Andrew Brown, email:, representing Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates Conties
Josephine Finn, email: , representing Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties
Judith Chin, email:, representing Queens County
Beverly Ouderkirk, email:, representing Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties
Catherine Collins, email:, representing Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming Counties

Judith Johnson, email:, representing Duchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties
A separate letter can go to the governor but must be faxed here, 1-518-474-1513 and of course addressed to him at:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
The NYS Commissioner needs to hear from you as well, MaryEllen Elia can be emailed at

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