Many barriers for English learners on Regents exams
By KESHIA CLUKEY
January 24, 2013
Senior Keh Blut Soe stood nervously studying her notes before going into the exam room.
The 17-year-old Thomas R. Proctor High School student was about to take the U.S. History Regents, an exam that for her is about a foreign country in a foreign language.
Blut Soe is one of 439 English language learners at Proctor and among 1,506 in the district, said Deborah Wilson-Allam, administrator for pupil services and English language learners.
All students must pass the Regents exams with at least a 65 to earn a high school diploma, and according to state regulations, they only have four years to do it, otherwise they're marked as “incomplete,” Wilson-Allam said.
The incomplete impacts the school's accountability - a way the state measures success based on graduation rates and testing scores, said Proctor Principal Steven Falchi.
“It certainly poses a significant challenge for the school,” Falchi said. “It's difficult to see those kids work so hard and not get a high school diploma.”
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