A small group of public high schools in New York City managed to get exempted from the testing regime of the New York Regents many years ago.

And they have proven themselves.

These schools use performance assessments rather than the standardized tests of the Regents (although they do take the Regents exam in English language arts). The performance assessments are demanding. They are judged by teachers, parents, and others.

The students in these schools are succeeding at far higher levels than the students inĀ other public high schools in the city. They have a higher graduation rate, a lower dropout rate, and a higher rate of persistence in college than students from other public high schools in the city. They have higher graduation rates for black students, Hispanic students, Asian students, white students, and students with disabilities than the New York City public schools in general.

Now they want to increase their number from 28 (26 in the city) by adding another 19.

But city and state officials are reluctant. What if they let other schools escape the testing regime? Who knows how many would seek to be exempt next year and the year after. What if no one were left to be tested? What do results matter, as compared to the sense of control and power that high-level officials thrive on?