The New York State Board of Regents is set to excuse school districts from a requirement to provide extra help to all students who fail the state’s standardized exams, a number that grew by hundreds of thousands after the state made the exams tougher to pass this year, reports the New York Times. The vote by the board, which is scheduled for early next week, would cover more than 125,000 students in New York City alone. City officials, however, played down the issue, saying it would not change their requirement that schools come up with plans to address the needs of all their struggling students.  John King, the state’s deputy education commissioner, said Tuesday that the loosened restriction was intended to reduce the financial burden on districts at a time of shrinking budgets. It is also part of a move by Albany to give districts more flexibility in following a policy that, since 1999, has mandated academic intervention for children who fail the standardized tests…

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staff and wire services reports