US History Regents Exam Canceled

Editorial Opinion

In an unexpected decision, the New York State Board of Regents canceled the US history Regents “exam.”

Betty A. Rosa, Commissioner of the NYS Education Dept., wrote in a letter: “In the wake of the heinous mass shooting in Buffalo, the Department is taking numerous steps to explore potential areas of support for students and schools across the state. Such actions include having content experts from the Department, in partnership with NYS educators, review all June 2022 Regents Exams, which have already been printed and packaged for shipment to schools. During that review, our experts determined that there is content on the new Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework) that has the potential to compound student trauma caused by the recent violence in Buffalo.”

Their reasons behind the canceling of this test is that there is content on the test that might be triggering to some students.

But isn’t a lot of American history triggering? There’s so many horrible things this country has done that can trigger students. Why do they care now all of a sudden?

Now the question is, what exactly was on that test?

US history teacher, Ms. McBride said, “They should have made the decision [to cancel the test] months ago. Especially with all the Covid cases rising and falling. And it’s been inconsistent with a bunch of kids missing school.”

“Attendance has been inconsistent in a lot of schools so you know kids are struggling,” Ms. McBride said. “I don’t think they should be forced to take a test that determines if they graduate or not.”

As it is known, students need to pass the US history Regents exam to graduate from high school in New York State.

This pandemic and quarantine has had drastic effects on all of us, but especially the youth and high school students.

An easier version of the Regents was going to be administered in the upcoming years but far before the class of 2022 or class of 2023, the high school classes that were the most affected by the pandemic.

There has always been controversy around standardized tests in general because they make students feel as if they are not good enough and try to define them as whole.

There are many juniors who have felt similarly about the test and are relieved they don’t have to take it.

Leshae Chadwick, eleventh grade, said, “I didn’t really care that the test was canceled since I already took the US history regent in middle school, but if I was to take it, I know I would be prepared because Ms. McBride is a great teacher.”

Another junior, Kyra Richards, also didn’t have any interest in why the test was canceled. She said “It didn’t bother me, to be honest. I’m actually happy that happened, but I did feel prepared.”

The pattern seems to be that students were mostly relieved but they felt prepared.

I felt prepared as well and I feel like we’ve been working pretty hard in US history this year, but what’s done is done.