Interview on New York State Possible Regents exam Cuts

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Recently in order to trim down a nine billion dollar New York State budget deficit, New York education officials are considering cutting 13 of 17 regents exams. The exams that could be cut are in the subjects of Science, Social Studies, Math and English. A move that would extremely effect NY students, but save an estimated thirteen million dollars a year on average. Other possible budget cutting options for New York State education include cutting the administration of regent’s exams in all languages other than English and Spanish. Recently I sat down with two classmates, Ethan Lenny and Nicole Stewart and a teacher, Mr. Vogt to interview them on their thoughts on the possible regents cuts.

EP: Are you in favor of NY State education officials cutting a possible 13 of 17 regents exams in the subjects of Science, Social studies, Math and English?
Ethan Lenny: I would be in favor of the cuts, but the problem is the Regents exams count as our finals here at school and personally the regents are easier than school finals are. The cutting of the regents would negatively affect my grade, resulting in me being not in favor of cutting the regents.

EP: Do you think that its fair that students who speak Chinese, Korean, Russian and Haitian Creole might be forced to take the regents exams in the languages of either English or Spanish?
EL: It’s not fair to cut regents in different languages, but if it comes down to it over not being able to have the regents, the cuts are necessary. It would be hard for no English or Spanish speaking students but it would help them be more assimilated.

EP: What kind of effect do you believe a cut in the administration of regents exams will have on the curriculum in the subjects where cuts are being considered?
EL: Teachers teach to the exam because the regents have most of the main topics for the main subjects. Without the regents teachers would cause teachers to teach different exams such as the finals.

EP: Are you in favor of NY State education officials cutting a possible 13 of 17 regents exams in the subjects of Science, Social studies, Math and English?
Nicole Stewart: No, because I feel the regents provide a basis for comparison amongst schools, teachers and most importantly students.

EP: Do you think that its fair that students who speak Chinese, Korean, Russian and Haitian Creole might be forced to take the regents exams in the languages of either English or Spanish?
NS: I believe it’s not fair because a kid could be a genius, but isn’t able to speak English and Spanish causing him to do very poorly.


EP: What kind of effect do you believe a cut in the administration of regents exams will have on the curriculum in the subjects where cuts are being considered?
NS: Classes would teach with much more details, and their wouldn’t be a set curriculum so classes would be unorganized and classes may not finish the curriculum as a result.


EP: As a teacher what kind of effect would the cutting of the regent’s examination have on the curriculum that you currently teach to?
Mr. Vogt: The Positive would be that regents review, which takes about six weeks would be cut out of the curriculum. The negative would be that teachers and students can’t focus on the specific skills that the regents exams require if there are no exams to teach those skills to.

EP: How different is the curriculum you teach to for the regents from a school curriculum that would be taught if not for the regents?
Mr. Vogt: The regents controls everything: time, lessons and puts a lot of pressure on students. A school curriculum could be better catered to the students and would result in every school having a different standard instead of the uniform standard that the Regents curriculum has.


EP: As a teacher would you rather teach to a state wide curriculum like the regents requires or would you rather teach to a school curriculum?
Mr. Vogt: The advantage of a school curriculum is that there is more control over what is being taught, and it could be catered to the students at the school. The negative of having a school curriculum is that the regents exam creates basic standards for kids and determines what schools and teachers are teaching the basics and which ones are not.

EP: The cutting of the regent’s examination is currently an issue that students are undecided on. Do you think the cutting of the regents examination would hurt your students or better your students?
Mr.Vogt : Cutting the regents would hurt students in certain classes, especially those in the subject that I teach, English. In the broad subject of English cutting the regents would mean there are no basic standards that need to be met and the 7% of the population that’s in poverty would be at a disadvantage as a result.





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