Thanks to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and five other donors, who chipped in $250,000 each, schools in New York State will be able to hold January Regents tests this year. The tests were cut from the budget earlier this spring, when the state announced sweeping cuts to education (among other things) in this year's budget.
The New York Times reports the announcement of the donation, and writes that the January Regents are especially important to students who are struggling:
Principals use the January administration of the Regents for many reasons: practice for students, early graduation, and a second or third chance for students who failed the test before. To graduate, students across the state have to pass Regents exams in five subjects — math, English, science, American history and global history.
After the state canceled the January tests in May, city principals wrote letters to state officials, warned the schools chancellor about plummeting graduation rates and wrote opinion articles in local newspapers. But even the principals most involved in the issue did not know until Wednesday morning that the mayor had started a private fund-raising effort.
“I am very pleased and relieved,” said Sarah Scrogin, the principal of East Bronx Academy for the Future, explaining how the January tests last year helped get one of her students, who had given birth in the ninth grade, back on track.
New York City educators weren't the only ones worried about losing the January tests. Here's an article from the Utica Observer-Dispatch last December, in which Mohawk Valley teachers and students talk about what the loss of January regents would mean for their schools.