L.I. Assembly Members Support New Plan to Help Special Education Students Earn High School Diplomas
Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) is excited to announce that New York’s Board of Regents has voted unanimously on a plan which would offer an alternative route for students to earn high school diplomas. Ra and Assemblyman Dean Murray (R,C,I-East Patchogue) introduced similar legislation in 2016 following a regional forum where they discussed the issue with parents and educators.
“With this new plan in action, so many doors will open for students to continue to better their future after graduation,” said Ra. “Many employers require potential employees to have a high school diploma in order to obtain a positon and some do not recognize the Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS) as valid proof of a person’s completion of high school. A CDOS is earned either through the completion of 216 hours of occupational coursework or by passing one of the four national work-readiness assessments. Now, as long as they meet these requirements and their district superintendent deems they are skilled enough in academic subjects such as English and math, these students can earn their full diplomas. I am so glad we are finally giving an equal opportunity to all students to earn their high school degree.”
The new plan would allow students to earn a local diploma for completing the CDOS, which could open up a variety of employment opportunities to students after high school.
“New York’s preconceived one-size-fits-all approach to educational success has become outdated and it is important that we continue to offer alternative approaches to passing high school Regents Exams for graduation. Denying students with disabilities the chance to get a real diploma simply because they could not reach a certain score on Regents tests and ignoring all the hard work that they did put forward was just wrong. I believe this is a positive change that brings about a much-needed sense of fairness and well-deserved proof of accomplishment. Congratulations to all the parents and educators who fought so hard for this change. As the incoming Ranking Republican Member of the Assembly’s Education Committee, I look forward to working on methods that will increase high school graduation rates and provide a better experience for all of our students,” said Murray.