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New York Research Partnership for Alternative Pathways


New York State education leaders seek to address racial and socioeconomic gaps in high school graduation rates, as well as rates of remedial mathematics placement among those who do graduate and attend college. In 2015, New York began offering alternative pathways to a high school diploma that allow students to use approved assessments in the arts, career and technical education, and other subject areas as a way to meet some graduation requirements. The New York Research Partnership for Alternative Pathways collaborates on research focused on these alternative graduation pathways and other problems of practice, including the rate of remediation among state college students and variations in the availability of career and technical education programs across the state.


  • Examine high school diploma attainment rates in relation to implementation of a 2015 alternative assessment policy, particularly for groups of students with historically low graduation rates.
  • Study the college remediation status of New York students in relation to their high school mathematics coursework and current state mathematics graduation requirements to inform potential policy changes.


Katherine ShieldsKatherine Shields
Senior Research Associate
REL Northeast & Islands


As part of a transition to new college and career readiness standards, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) in 2015 added a new “4+1” option by which students could earn the state’s prestigious Regents diploma. Previously, graduating high school students had to pass five required statewide Regents exams to earn a Regents diploma. Now students have the option of taking Regents exams in four core academic areas (English, mathematics, science, and social studies), and completing the fifth exam requirement with an approved, non-Regents but comparably rigorous assessment in areas that include the arts and career and technical education. For this study, REL Northeast & Islands is working with NYSED to examine Regents diploma attainment rates in the state after implementation of the policy, particularly among groups of students with historically low graduation rates. Results of the study will provide timely information to NYSED and the New York State Board of Regents as they monitor the outcomes of the new policy to determine whether or not the intended groups of students are using the 4+1 graduation pathway, and which pathways and assessments students use.


Name Title Organization
MaryEllen Elia Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York New York State Education Department (NYSED)
Jhone Ebert Senior Deputy Commissioner for Education Policy, P–12 and Higher Education NYSED
Angelica Infante-Green Deputy Commissioner, P–12 Instructional Support NYSED
John D’Agati Deputy Commissioner, Higher Education NYSED
Laura Glass Coordinator, Education Programs, Higher Education NYSED
David Cantaffa Assistant Provost for Educator Preparation The State University of New York
Rebecca Coyle Director of Operations, Office of Higher Education NYSED
Marybeth Casey Director of Curriculum, P–12 Instructional Support NYSED
Jessica Todtman Chief of Staff, P–20 Initiatives, Office of Education Policy NYSED