New York City and New York State public schools seem to end later than nearly every other state in the US. Maybe I'm misinformed, but we seem to go on and on and on. The last day of school for NYC public schools this year is Tuesday, June 28. Now, I know that many of the private and parochial schools in the Empire State (our lovely nickname) have said their academic farewells, but the there are still New York State Regent Exams going on.

Ahhh, the dreaded "Regents" as many a lifelong resident and ex-pat will remember. These are a series of standardized exams, which test knowledge on a particular course. Thus there is a Chemistry Regent exam. A Geometry Regent exam. A Global History Regent exam. If you are curious you can check www.nysed.org and look for old Regent exams. Heck, they have archived exams from the 1930s! There are even prototype exams from the late 1800s! Whoosh.

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Today, Friday, June 17 my younger daughter is taking the Earth Science Regent exam in the morning, and my older daughter is taking the Geometry Regent exam in the afternoon. These are both tests that my husband and I took when we were teens. We sweated them out. I still remember my scores (fondly?) as I received an 80 on Geometry and either 90 or 91 on Earth Sci.


Nearly every year since high school I have had a few dreams about how I am sitting for one of these Regent exams, but I am confused because I know that I already took them when I was younger, and I feel unprepared. I've asked other New Yorkers and others have experienced this as well. It's a New York thang...

These exams are administered in January, June and August but the greatest amount of tests are taken in June. And there will still be tests given on June 22nd. I kid you not.

So for fun, let's imagine if our forefathers and foremothers  had to take Regent exams. What if Avraham Avinu had to take... Global History? I bet his test would have been a lot easier to study for since there were fewer nations around then. And would he have had to write two essays, one a thematic and one document based? Ho ho. And what if Joseph and his brothers had to take Regent exams in Algebra or Physics or Amharic (actually, there never has been one in Amharic, folks, but there has been the venerable Hebrew Regent exam). What if one of our Torah personalities had failed a Regent exam by a few points? Would he or she have argued for a re-grading? Would we care to read about this?

Oh, our lucky fortunate ancestors. They did not have to sit and squirm and worry about Regent exams. Their lives were too exciting for these mundane three hour tests.



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