NY cancels Regents exam after Buffalo massacre

The New York City Department of Education abruptly canceled the US government and history regent exam Tuesday — over a question about the test officials and sources said could spark students in the wake of the hateful Buffalo massacre.

State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa said in a district-wide memo that the exam – which students were scheduled to take on June 1 – was reviewed by content experts after the mass shooting.

“[They] determined that there is content on the new Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework) that has the potential to exacerbate student trauma caused by recent violence in Buffalo,” department spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said in a statement .

“While the Buffalo Tragedy was developed more than two years ago by NYS-certified social studies teachers and field-tested to confirm that the content of the exam is pedagogically sound, it provides an unexpected and unintended context for the planned assessment created,” the statement said. “After the Buffalo tragedy, it is not appropriate to administer the exam with a question that could add to the heartache and hardship of our school communities.”

When asked what specific content the experts found troubling, the department declined to answer, prompting The Post to file a public record request.

BettyRosa.
State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa said the exam was reviewed by content experts after the mass shooting.
Mike Groll/AP

The Regents Exams are nationally standardized tests administered each year in core subjects such as math and history, which students must take and pass in order to graduate.

In 2020, exams were canceled altogether in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in January 2021 and January 2022 they were wiped out amid the winter waves of the virus.

Rosa noted in their memo that it was “not possible” to create a test with different content or to change the current exam, which was already printed and packaged for shipping – so they decided to scrap it altogether.

People pay their respects outside Tops supermarket.
The exam contains content that “has the potential to aggravate student trauma caused by recent violence in Buffalo,” a department spokesman said.
Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Payton Gendron.
Payton Gendron pleaded not guilty to the murder.
Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

During the June 2022 Board of Regents meeting, the department will ask the board to remove the test as a graduation requirement for students taking the exam in June, August and January 2023 “due to technical requirements related to the administration” of a new test should take off .

“New York has exceptional school communities that are unwavering in their commitment to their students,” Rosa concluded in the memo.

“The Department is committed to supporting our students, schools and communities in the wake of the Buffalo tragedy. We will work together to ensure that kindness and compassion always triumph over ignorance and hate.”

On May 14, outspoken white supremacist Payton Gendron allegedly shot dead ten people at Tops Friendly Market in what officials described as a hateful attack specifically targeting black people.

He has pleaded not guilty to the murder.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/24/ny-cancels-regents-exam-after-buffalo-shooting-massacre/ NY cancels Regents exam after Buffalo massacre

JACLYN DIAZ

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