Who decides when a student is college ready?

By a Bayside High School parent

I’d like to address the current policy of Bayside High School with regard to students and Regents.

The school has a “college ready” policy which requires students to attain an 80 on the Algebra Regents, an arbitrary grade established by CUNY. Although this sounds like an admirable policy—who doesn’t want their students college ready?—in reality it is a money pit to the school and soul-killing to the students.

If a student passes algebra in ninth grade, then passes the Algebra Regents in June with a 75, 10 points over the passing grade required by the state, the student is scheduled to take the test again in August because they aren’t deemed college ready.

If the student gets a 79 or 65, or any number in between in August, they are scheduled into another algebra class for 10th grade and subject to taking the Regents again in December, June and August. If they don’t reach the 80, they just keep taking the Regents over and over, accompanied by as many semesters of algebra refresher classes as the school chooses to schedule them into.

For dozens of otherwise successful students at Bayside HS, this has been an ongoing nightmare. Graduating seniors aren’t exempt from this abuse. Students who are accepted into the college of their choice are taking algebra refresher classes and required to take the Regents in June. This is not a responsible use of school funding.

Any student who refuses this treatment is put on academic probation and can’t play sports or participate in school activities, including the prom. Is this the way we want our high school to treat a student who passes every class, has earned a Regents diploma, plays sports, sits on the student council and volunteers at school events? I don’t want my student treated with such disregard.

A Bayside High School parent

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