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New York State Eases Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities

06.15.2016 | Education Week | Abja Midha, a project director for Advocates for Children, an organization that supports multiple pathways for high school diplomas, said in an interview with Education Week that the new option is welcome—but that it comes with some concerns. First, it makes it even more complicated for families and schools to figure out just how a student can earn a diploma, though she said that concern is eased by the requirement that this option be considered automatically. Parents don't have to request it. Second, the local diploma option is primarily available to students with disabilities, and could be stigmatizing for them—particularly if they remain in New York, where the public better understands the difference between the diploma options. Midha said that the state should consider changing the number of Regents exams required for a diploma. "There's nothing magic about the number five," and the new rule shows that the board may be open to considering this, she said. The organization would also like to see the state move to performance-based assessments as an option for all students, not just students with disabilities. "We appreciate the changes that are being made, but we do see a need for a wholesale review of what a good exam requirement is here in New York state," Midha said. Read article