Richard & Linda Mose Meadows

Richard & Linda Mose Meadows
Pastor, Pastoral Counselor and Chaplain

NYS Regents Diploma: A Failure?

Superintendent Williams encourages public to press for choice of local or Regents diploma
By Peter Simon

Regents graduation requirements, a central element of state educational reform, are “killing inner- city children,” Buffalo Schools Superintendent James A. Williams said Wednesday evening. He urged the public to lobby for a return to a longtime system in which students could earn either a Regents diploma or a less-rigorous local diploma. Currently, they are required to pass Regents exams in the core academic subjects.

That requirement is partly responsible for Buffalo’s graduation rate of 46 percent in June 2007, the last year for which figures are available, Williams told the Board of Education.
“That [the Regents requirement] is killing inner-city children,” he said. “It’s killing them.”
Williams said lobbying efforts to restore a non-Regents diploma track have failed.
“They’re not listening to the superintendent,” Williams said. “They’re not listening to some of our board members. Parents, that’s where we need help. Change the system.”
Williams said that he supports academic rigor but that the current system shortchanges career and vocational education.

“We still need electricians, plumbers and drywallers,” he said.
Samuel Radford III, a community activist, praised several of Buffalo’s educational initiatives but said the graduation rate shows that massive improvement is needed.
The phase-in of the Regents requirements has been a cornerstone of State Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills’ reform effort for about a decade, despite efforts by critics early in Mills’ tenure to maintain a non-Regents track.

Nationwide, just 50 percent of African-American males graduate and only 17 percent go on to college, according to Williams.
“That’s not acceptable,” he said. “It’s worse than the crisis on Wall Street.”
The average 2007 graduation rate for the state’s big cities — including Buffalo — was 47.3 percent. Statewide, it was 68.6 percent.
In Erie and Niagara counties, only Buffalo and Lackawanna, at 67 percent, fell below the state average.
From: Richard Meadows [] Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 11:27 AMTo: Simon, PeterSubject: Graduation Rates Story

From time to time an article catches my heart strings and the one concerning Regent Diplomas and local diplomas did. The Superintendent is sort of right. My son who was a student at Kensington HS was challenged to pass the Math A exam and did not. This was the first year it was required and he failed. I did not panic, and I did not make him enroll in summer school that year. Although he did not graduate nor did almost fifty percent of his class he was there to cheer on those that did graduate. I went with him to the graduation and I felt bad because he had worked hard during his four years but lacked some skills necessary especially math skills.

I knew in my heart that he was college material and that he could do it, but I was also convinced it would take him another whole year to pass this Math A exam. We opted for a GED and with the GED he earned that summer he went on to college in the following fall. He was discouraged but I had to work hard to not let him fail or fall through the cracks that failure of the exam and not graduating could have caused.

My son only lived a couple of more years, but I cherish his efforts to finish the GED and continue on to college. It was one of my crowning moments as a parent, to not let my son feel like a failure. He was murdered in the in the streets of Buffalo by; you guessed it a young African American male drop out. Diplomas whether local or Regent mean nothing when you start college. It is a time for our children to start over and continue on in life. Great story. Yours and my son's.

Peace to you.
From P. Simon Buffalo News
Richard -- Thank you for the very touching and thoughtful note. You obviously did a great and sensitive job as a father, and have a lot to be proud of despite the terrible tragedy. What a tough issue: the need for standards and rigor, and – at the same time – the necessity of keeping students upbeat, hopeful and in school. I’ve already received several other e-mails on the story, so it’s touching people in different ways. Regards, and peace to you as well, Pete Simon

Courtney Dion Meadows Born 5/9/1983 - Heaven Date 5/2/2005 "My Friend Lives" I desired Peace in the Process and I arrived at Justice. I pray for his shooter...May God give him peace.

Contact Me: