Rudy Backs Regents Requirement By MICHAEL O. ALLEN, Daily News Staff Writer

Sunday, November 16, 1997

Mayor Giuliani yesterday supported the state Board of Regents’ new foreign language requirement for high school graduates, setting up a possible showdown with Chancellor Rudy Crew.

“The system should introduce more languages,” Giuliani said at a Bensonhurst news conference. “It’s an excellent idea. This whole movement toward higher standards is exactly what the city public school system should be challenged to do.”

Crew had said he had “grave reservations” about the added requirement, included in a new package of reforms for students entering ninth grade in 2001.

The board’s plan would have high school students take two to three years of instruction in a foreign language, then pass a Regents examination to earn a diploma. But Crew said the requirement would be hard on kids in lower-performing schools, reasoning that they would have less time for remedial work. Board officials said that only 7% of city high school students take Regents exams in foreign languages.

J.D. LaRock, a spokesman for the city Board of Education, said yesterday that although the chancellor supports students who want to take foreign languages for advanced Regents diplomas, he has deep concerns about the costs of the new requirement.

“I don’t want to draw distinctions between the mayor and the chancellor’s positions. I just want to highlight the chancellor’s concerns,” LaRock said, adding that more than 1,000 additional teachers would be needed if the requirement is instituted systemwide.

Original Story Date: 111697