Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Many Western New York students are still feeling the pain from snow days earlier this week that forced them to miss State Regents Exams.
"I spoke to a student who said 'Mr. Woytila, I am all set. I'm accepted at this college but they won't finalize it until I pass this Global exam,'" said North Tonawanda Schools Superintendent Greg Woytila. "He'll take it now, but what if he doesn't pass in June?"
For reasons like this, Assemblyman Sean Ryan on Thursday urged the State Education Department to allow school districts across the state to be able to administer make up Regents exams.
Ryan wrote to State Education Commissioner John King, asking him to allow students who missed exams because of weather to be able to take new exams. Ryan noted that by not allowing high school seniors to make up the exams, June will be their only opportunity to pass.
The Assemblyman also said that it should be common sense for the State Education Department to have a back up plan in case weather gets in the way of Regents exams. "It doesn't take a lot of foresight to say that if we're offering an exam in January in New York State, there's a chance that someone, somewhere, is going to have a weather emergency, or some other emergency, that will prevent kids from coming in to school." Ryan proposed that the State make four exams each year instead of three, to ensure that there is a backup exam available.
"I am surprised there wasn't already a system like this in place," Ryan said. "If the State Education Department is unable or unwilling to put these safeguards in place, I will not hesitate to introduce legislation to ensure our students are not left without options."
Ryan was joined by Buffalo Common Councilmember David Rivera, along with representatives from Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, Randolph, and Springville schools.