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College Hosts Policy Conference on Regents Exams And Other Required High-stakes Tests
Contact: Maria Terrone
Director of Communications
(718) 997-5591
Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5590

Wednesday, Nov. 5 & Thursday, Nov. 6, 5 - 9:00 pm

(plus reception with participants each night, 4 – 4:45 pm)


-- NYS Regent Saul Cohen, Michael Rebell (Campaign for Fiscal Equity), School Administrators and Teachers to Gather Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 to Discuss the Issues --

FLUSHING, October 30, 2003 -- New York State now requires that students pass Regents exams in order to graduate from high school. Yet in October, the Board of Regents postponed for a few years raising the passing grade from 55 to 65; reports have shown significantly lower Regents passing rates among minority students; and recently, Regent Harry Phillips spoke at a legislative hearing about a proposed alternative to the Regents for high school graduation.

This conference, “Mandatory Testing for High School Graduation: An Educational Policy Conference,” will examine such questions as: which students have benefited by mandatory testing? Who has been hurt? How do school resources affect exam scores? How will the new requirements affect drop-out rates; graduation rates; curriculum; teaching; art, music and vocational programs; and children with special needs?

Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, New York
Rosenthal Library Auditorium, 240
The media are also invited to attend receptions for the panelists and keynote speakers on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, 4 - 4:45 pm in Powdermaker Hall, Room 149.
Keynote Speakers, 5 - 6:45 pm:
Michael Rebell, Director and Lead Counsel, Campaign for Fiscal Equity (Wednesday, November 5, 5 pm)

Saul Cohen, Member of the Board of Regents, former president of Queens College (Thursday, November 6, 5 pm)

Panelists 7:15 – 9:00 pm each evening

Wednesday, November 5, School Administrators’ Panel
Marc Bernstein, Superintendent, Valley Stream Central High School District
Joe Cantara, Principal, Intermediate School, 237, Queens
Michele Cahill, Senior Counselor to New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein
Anita Saunders, New York City, District 26 Superintendent
Don Freeman, Retired Principal, Fannie Lou Hamer High school; staff member, New York Performance Standards Consortium
Ron Ross, Senior Education Fellow, National Urban League, former Superintendent, Mt. Vernon Public Schools
Grace Donahue, curriculum consultant for vocational technical programs.

Thursday, November 6, Teachers’ Panel
Panelists include:
Mimi Mazzarella, English Teacher, Uniondale School District
Vivian Bergenthal, retired art teacher and former Project Arts Coordinator, Martin Van Buren High School, Queens
Douglas McDonough, Special Education teacher, Suffolk BOCES.
Other teacher panelists will focus on the impact of the Regents policy on teaching in math, science, social studies and English.

Invited Guest: Steven Sanders, Chair, New York State Assembly Education Committee


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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