State votes to cut Regents exams in foreign languages

Thousands of students on Long Island will have one less test to worry about next year after the New York State Board of Regents voted

DIX HILLS - Thousands of students on Long Island will have one less test to worry about next year after the New York State Board of Regents voted today to cut foreign language exams.

The education commissioner says the Legislature only approved about half of the $15 million for Regents exams, making testing in Spanish, French and Italian too costly.

Some students at Half Hollow Hills East High School say the state is sending the wrong message.

"Basically, it's saying, 'We value languages less than we do sciences or math,'" says senior Alex Schnapp.

Schnapp has been taking Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic, and he says he's planning on using all of the languages in the future.

The Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors (FLACS), made up of about 90 school districts statewide, has already collected questions and written regional exams to replace the foreign language tests the state cut last year. Now, it is considering doing the same to replace the Spanish, French and Italian Regents exams.

"To know a language from another country unites the world like only language can," says ninth-grade student Eric Gesuale.

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