Giving Compass' Take:

• Reema Amin writes about the topics discussed by NYC families and educators on how to prepare high school students to graduate and succeed after. 

• What are local leaders doing to boost education in your community?

• Here's an article on bringing transparency to high school graduation. 

As the state’s Board of Regents reconsiders the requirements to earn a diploma in New York, it kicked off the city’s participation in the two-year process with a meeting Wednesday at Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton High School. It was the first of 11 such events scheduled in the five boroughs.

Officials plan to collect feedback from these discussions and send it to a commission that will eventually come up with ideas for changes to diploma requirements. (The commission has not yet been formed.)

State officials have stressed that they’re looking at much more than making changes to the Regents exams, or high school exit tests, and will dig into what it means to be ready for college or a career after high school. Still, the fate of the Regents came up repeatedly during the 90 minutes that teachers, education advocates, parents, and students brainstormed. Many of those in attendance argued that test preparation takes up too much classroom time.

“We need the Regents exam to basically be eliminated,” Caitlyn Pace, a special education teacher at Bay Ridge’s High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology, said to loud applause at the Brooklyn meeting.

Pace described feeling “chained” to the tests, keeping her from teaching students what they need “to be successful in the 21st century.” Another Brooklyn high school teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, said she recently spent 40 uninterrupted minutes lecturing her students to prepare for exams instead of doing an “inquiry-based or engaging” classroom activity.

“That is literally everything I have been taught not to do,” the teacher said.

Read the full article about graduating high school in NYC by Reema Amin at Chalkbeat.