08/21/2012 10:36 am ET Updated Oct 21, 2012

New York Regents Asked To Exempt More Schools From Mandatory State Exams

Unlike most New York City high-school seniors last June, Kathryn McCauley's diploma wasn't riding on her performance on five grueling state Regents exams.

Instead, the 18-year-old stood alone in a classroom with two teachers and a working scientist. There, at Urban Academy, her public school on the Upper East Side, she delivered a dissertation-like defense of a 32-page paper she wrote about her experiment on the effect of gender on reading comprehension. She passed and graduated.

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