Contributed photo

Looking Back 5/3

For students in New York, the end of the school year signals the start of Regents examinations. These tests, typically administered in mid-June, are state-wide cumulative exams focusing on a single subject.

Regents examinations have been a yearly occurrence since 1865, when the first preliminary examinations were administered after an ordinance was passed mandating the allocation of state funds to encourage academic education.

They were initially administered only to students in the eighth grade, but high schools began to hold them in June 1878. The extensive list of examinations continued to grow throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, with 42 tests approved in 1879. Vocational examinations were also offered in areas such as cloth construction and costume draping. The examination record of Long Eddy resident Morgan McKoon, pictured here, is from 1899, and shows tests on subjects such as the works of Virgil and Cicero.

Since 1970, fewer examinations have been administered, with more comprehensive exams being offered instead.

The annual meeting of the Basket Historical Society will be held on Saturday, May 26, at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. If you are interested and want more information email


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