The 2021 Regents: To Be Or Not To Be



“Exam” by albertogp123 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Eloise Gordon

After a year of online school and a delayed start to the school year, WESS students will likely sit for the New York State Regent exams after a year of online learning. In other words, we will take these tests less well equipped than in previous years. Students and teachers have hastily adapted to education over Zoom on top of many other issues created by this pandemic. Although this academic year has not given students their fair shot of getting the most out of learning, it is a meeting between the Board of Regents and the Education Department on March 15th that will determine the status of these exams for the spring.   

After cancelling the January Regents, the Board of Regents will have to decide if they want to cancel the June regents as well. Algebra two teacher Matt Blank explained that the federal government wants students all across America to take tests in order to collect data on learning in this pandemic. Therefore, New York has to work its way through the federal wants if they want to end up not making New Yorkers take the regents.  

So far, all but six regents have been cancelled. Not only does this show that the Regents Board is willing to cancel June regents but it shows that they prioritize some subjects over others. Earth science teacher Emily Hollyday  was asked what she thought about how some regents are being cancelled while others are not and she said “I believe New York State has to administer some standardized tests to be in compliance with the federal government. New York State is figuring out how they can do this with the least burden on communities.” Some would believe that prioritizing some subjects over others is offensive or disrespectful but for the most part people have acknowledged that this is what needs to be done.

The cancellation of all but six regents could potentially lead people to believe that the rest of the regents are going to be cancelled. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. Both Emily and Matt said that there is a 50/50 shot of them being cancelled. 

Regardless of if the regents happen or not, WESS students have overcome so much this year and while an additional exam could lead to some added stress it is nothing that WESS students can’t handle.