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SAANYS Supports Commissioner's Decision to Reassess Math Regents; Association Calls for Regents Diploma for Eligible Seniors.

ALBANY, N.Y., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS) applauds Commissioner Richard Mills on his decision to put students' needs and community concerns before testing data. SAANYS also believes that the students seeking to obtain a Regents Diploma should not be denied that opportunity because of the faulty exam.

As discussed between SAANYS Deputy Executive Director Kevin Casey and Assemblyman Steven Sander's office last week, it is the Education Department's responsibility to see that the Regents exams are developed and executed in a reasonable and fair manner. This is especially crucial considering the significant consequences and level of importance the Department has placed on these exams.

SAANYS strongly believes that seniors who have met all other requirements for a Regents diploma should still be eligible to receive such a diploma if they have attained a course grade equivalent to the district's exam grade requirement for a Regents diploma. According to Mills' decision, students who have met the standard for Math A based on the course grade are only eligible to receive a local diploma. Since this year's seniors will not have another opportunity to take this exam, flexibility in issuing Regents diplomas is necessary. There is precedence of such flexibility regarding Regents diplomas and flexibility should be applied to this case as well. A faulty exam should not be the deciding factor as to whether or not a student receives a Regents diploma.

SAANYS commends the Commissioner's decision to postpone any further administration of the Math A exam until January 2004 in order to allow a thorough analysis of this exam. SAANYS urges the Department to pay special attention to: 1) the scheduling difficulties involved in re-testing for both the students and schools and 2) concerns that the exam was not reflective of what teachers, administrators, and students expected. In order to prepare our students for such rigorous and high-stakes testing it is imperative that educators have a clear and unambiguous understanding as to the expectations of state tests.

Finally, an open and independent investigation into the exam, as called for in Mills' statement on June 24, is welcomed and necessary. SAANYS looks forward to contributing to this process of assuring fair and reasonable expectations of our students.

SAANYS represents over 6,500 school administrators, supervisors, and coordinators. As a professional association, SAANYS provides direction, service and support to the membership in their efforts to improve the quality of education and leadership in New York State schools.

CONTACT: Michelle Hebert, +1-518-782-0600, for SAANYS
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Date:Jun 26, 2003
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