Absolutism, Everlasting Control in New York

As students leave High School and go into the real world, it is understood that hard work and continuous effort will always prevail against natural talent and a quick review session. However, this concept, which drives motivation and diligence, is illegitimate when it comes to the New York State Board of Regents. The Regents are commonly misunderstood and encourage mischief among High School students.

A spokesperson for New York State identifies the Regents Exams as “an exit exam so that we know that students have a certain amount of knowledge before leaving high school.” The Board of Regents briefly mentions that a student may not receive a High School Diploma unless they earn a 65 or greater on at least four tests. It is a common misconception that Advanced Regents Diplomas only matter if a student wants to attend a New York or California university, as the two states have different exit exams and necessities for diplomas. According to the California Department of Education “All students in California public schools were required to pass the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) to demonstrate competency in grade-level skills in reading, writing, and mathematics to earn a high school diploma”...this writ was suspended in 2015 by Governor Brown. Currently, all students in the state of California can earn a diploma without passing the Exam and it’s unlikely that it will be reinstated.

The Regents Exam encourages lying, cheating, and wrongdoing in High School. It is a fact that New York Public Universities favor a student who has earned or is earning an Advanced Regents diploma than someone who has simply earned a Regents. Students nowadays will do anything to advance their chances of getting a better grade to qualify for an Advanced Regents Diploma since more and more students are going to SUNY schools. After speaking with Jack Wallace, a current Junior who will be taking the Chemistry Regents, I was curious if he would cheat on the exam if nobody would catch him on it. He said “Absolutely!, Who wouldn’t!?” Cheating may not be the only flawed tactic youngsters are using. On May 25th 2017, The New York Post reported that in September of 2014, High School teacher Sean Shaynak had sexually victimized at least seven female students in one of his classes at Brooklyn Tech High School. One of the girls was voluntary having a relationship because he had rewarded her with perfect grades. There is an incredible amount of pressure placed on teenagers to succeed in High School, and the Regents are the main ingredient to it.

    Students graduating High School in New York who have earned an Advanced Regents diploma will understand the struggle and grip that the New York State educational system has had on their throat. The Regents have been administered since 1979, and have no sign of slowing down!

Jack Blitch