Rebecca FernandezJun 22, 2018, 12:51 pmJun 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

New policy ensures that Regents Examination scores ‘Do No Harm’

President of Lynbrook Teachers Association: ‘Policy creates an uneven playing field’

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LYNBROOK – As of October of 2017, the Lynbrook Board of Education decided to adhere to a new policy called "Do No Harm." The policy entails that if a Regents Exam score will negatively affect a student's final average, it will not be included in their grades and instead that school quarter's grade will count for the rest of their final average. However, if a student scores well on the Regents Exam, it will count for 20 percent of their final average.

The Regents Exam is a standardized test that high school students all across New York take every year. It measures how much students have learned in the five core subjects.

President of Lynbrook Teachers Association Craig Kirchenberg said this new policy creates an uneven playing field.

"This system creates an uneven playing field in which the same test counts for some students and does not count for other students," Kirchenberg said.

The Lynbrook Teachers Association formed a committee last year to take a closer look at the Regents Exam and see how it played a role in the students' academic experiences. They made a recommendation to the board of education to change the weight of the exam from 20 percent to 15 percent of their final grade; however, this suggestion was rejected.

"They did not accept that recommendation and, instead, went in their own direction with this 'Do No Harm' policy," Kirchenberg said.

However, some parents are in agreement with the Lynbrook Board of Education.

"They've got so much going on when they're finishing that and it's a lot of stress, so I don't really think it should count as what their grade is," Linda Dimarzo said.

Teachers said that although these tests won't matter in terms of their high school grades, there's a long-term result that needs to be considered. The Teachers Association said that these tests are an important factor in their overall academic careers that does play a role regardless of what is put in their report card.

"All colleges view the Regents Exam as a generally accepted standard for college and career readiness," Kirchenberg said. "These tests are not perfect exams; we know that some of these exams have flaws, but it is a standard measure and whatever flaw exists in the exam is the same flaw that exists in every exam throughout the state. So while it's not perfect, and it is an accepted measure that we can rely on it."

FiOS1 News reached out to the Lynbrook Board of Education for comment, but have not heard back yet

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