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NY Commissioner Blinks

Susan Notes: The inside dope isn't available yet, but we'll take anything we can get.

State Education Commissioner Richard Mills yesterday backed off his edict requiring students in the city's 40 alternative schools to pass five Regents exams next year like other high schools. The students in the consortium of portfolio schools are currently required to pass only the English Regents exam and exempt from passing the Regents math, science and global and American history tests. Instead, these schools were allowed to use alternative assessments, such as classroom projects, to determine graduation. In a 2001 order, Mills eliminated the exemption starting with this year's 12th graders. Mills, who has been under pressure from lawmakers who oppose standardized tests, backtracked by offering a one-year reprieve for students in these schools. "Overall performance in the Consortium schools on all exams other than Regents English was below that of other public schools," he said in a letter to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. "I have decided that a brief extension of the transition period is reasonable and fair."

— Carl Campanile
New York Post


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