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State changes Regents testing procedures  

WATKINS GLEN—Watkins Superintendent Tom Phillips said the procedure for administering Regents tests has changed due to a cost saving measure, during the Monday, Jan. 3, school board meeting.

He explained that the New York State Education Department will produce fewer Regents tests and some districts may not have enough tests to give to students.  Phillips said if the regional office does not have enough extra Regents a school can  ask to make copies of a test.

To do that, the district will end up calling the state the day a test is to be administered.  Phillips commented on how this contrasts with the kind of security and protection the Regents get when delivered to schools before a test date.

Phillips added the state also sent out a note saying the education department is considering eliminating the January Regents test.  This would leave tests in June or August.  Phillips said the state advised districts with separate fall and spring semesters to consider changing the class schedules starting in the 2011-12 school year.

He explained Watkins classes are held year-long and not by semester.  However, Phillips said he thinks the state will follow through with this change, meaning some districts will have to change curriculum structures that took years to put into place.  He added it could affect Watkins’ graduation rate numbers.

Phillips said these sort of cost cutting efforts were not constructive.  He said what is really needed is changing the system.

In other business:

Watkins Glen will send student Sarah Bond to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address, Jan. 5.  She will be joined by her parents, advisor Marie Fitzsimmons, Principal Dave Warren, and Phillips.

Phillips also said the consolidation advisory committee may present a recommendation to the board in March.  He explained that another meeting is scheduled for Jan. 19 to discuss pros and cons.  He said the plan is to sum up the findings in February and possibly present to the school board at the March workshop meeting.

The next meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 18.  It will begin at 5:45 p.m.  


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