It seems that a few people are interested in yesterday’s Integrated Algebra Regents. For those of you not from New York State, you might like to skip this post.

I will post a link to the exam and the answer key and the conversion chart when they go on line.

The conversion chart will be available the 25th (they said before) or the 26th (they say now) or the 27th (according to people who don’t trust the state)

The exams were done by noon Tuesday. They were graded Tuesday afternoon (but there were no answer materials in the boxes. The State put them on-line a bit after noon) and this (Wednesday) morning, and were sent to the vendor by UPS, today. The schools were supposed to call for UPS, but in many cases UPS showed up unannounced and early and demanded the tests immediately. The vendor was going to send the exams to Iowa, but, you know, FLOODS, they sent them to Texas instead.

The vendor is going to post-equate the exams (I think) and a committee will propose a scale, another will review the scale, and the State will release the scale. All in the next few days. And then the answer sheets will come back to your schools (I think), and the schools will convert the grades, and you know what? Might be too late to get them on this term’s report cards? Check the transcript in September…

62 Comments leave one →
1. June 19, 2008 pm30 5:18 pm 5:18 pm

Ah, at least one who is not from NY is also interested. I’m looking forward to seeing the exam. Thanks for the posts!

June 20, 2008 am30 6:09 am 6:09 am

I read a comment from a kid that said it was like answering riddles, not like taking a math test.

So for us teachers who suffer administrators who grade us on the tests and not the students it was not a wonderful day.

June 20, 2008 am30 6:46 am 6:46 am

I am a freshmen and i took this test, i swear to god it was the most retarded test I have ever taken, the wording was horrible. I think it was more of a logic test than arithmetic.

June 20, 2008 pm30 3:50 pm 3:50 pm

As a teacher with over 35 yrs of teaching Math 9/Sequential I/Math A, this was the most God awful excuse for an Exam. When the results are in, and I’m sure they’ll be horrible, a less than 50% raw score will probably be passing. Will someone please convince these morons from the state to go back to 30 out of 35 2pt questions and 4 out of 7 10pt part two’s. This way, as it was explained to me in 1971, students who may not have had the best of instruction and did not cover all the material, could “Omit” those questions they were unfamiliar with. Sometimes new is not necessarily beter.

June 22, 2008 am30 9:39 am 9:39 am

This test failed to accomplish the one thing we expect a proficiency exam to do – test what the students knows as opposed to what he does not. The state was derelict in its duty to provide an exam that tests what the curriculum required us to teach. As an algebra exam, it failed miserably because the focus on algebra just wasn’t there. Two inequality questions on the long answer portion of the exam? That means that other topics weren’t covered at all – and they weren’t. Let’s not even talk about the way the questions were worded. It left much to the imagination. The question about the rectangular walkway was terrible. I asked several non-math people about their impression of what a rectangular walkway was. Interestingly enough, and much as I suspected, I received a number of different answers – including that a walkway is like a tunnel connecting two buildings above the street and therefore cannot be filled in with brick! Even though the question provided the information that 54 square feet of brick was being provided for the walkway, and that would indicate area, if your interpretation of what the walkway was differed from what the state intended it to be, there was no way you could answer that question properly.

This was supposed to be the ‘fix’ for the Math A/B fiasco? Check again, guys. You haven’t gotten it right yet.

6. June 22, 2008 pm30 6:51 pm 6:51 pm

Tzippy,

this remains a standards-based exam, which, in mathematics, is a fairly serious mistake.

Strip the artificial context, give us a list of skills, and let us teach those skills.

Their application needs to occur after they have been learned.

Now, the name is algebra, but the focus is 50% algebra, and we knew (or could have known) this in advance. So I am not disappointed there. But I would like a much higher percent. (I would favor dropping all the probability and stats. Some of the number sense stuff is ok)

This is better than Math A, without a doubt. There is more focus, fewer topics. That being said, you make important points about skipped topics, and over-tested topics. Why two inequalities, but no linear equations? no literal equations? no algebraic system of linear equations?

I do not think I will advocate fixing this anymore. I think it is time to admit that NY State no longer possesses the ability to create good mathematics examinations, and should get out of the business entirely.

June 23, 2008 am30 2:36 am 2:36 am

Good grief! The question about the walkway is so basic. If the students haven’t been taught that type of quadratic word problem, I don’t know what the teachers are teaching. Some of these questions are so predictable. I hate it when the teachers start griping because they’re trying to cover their a….. when they’re afraid their kids won’t do well. Let’s have some accountability.

8. June 23, 2008 am30 2:53 am 2:53 am

Jim, with 100% passing (probably), I am still not happy. You could follow the link to the listserve and read why teachers are unhappy, or you could just read the comments above. Gort is unhappy that the passing score will likely be low. Tzippy thought there was not enough real algebra.

And the walkway problem is badly written. Strip the context, area of a rectangle is 54, length is 15 more than the width, and you’ll here no complaint. But depending where you live, walkways look different. There are suburbs where they are typically concrete with brick border. Guess which way the students there interpreted the question.

Why don’t we start with some accountability for our own words. Let’s read before we criticize, ok?

June 23, 2008 am30 6:59 am 6:59 am

jd2718,

Not sure I have seen a NYS math exam that satisfies the teachers. I look at the Regents exam as establishing a MINIMUM level of competency and test the students with a final exam. If this is an exam that everyone must pass to get out of high school, it has to be fairly easy and have a low passing score….and it is.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

June 23, 2008 pm30 9:35 pm 9:35 pm

it was hard

June 23, 2008 pm30 9:48 pm 9:48 pm

Contradiction: If this is an exam that everyone must pass to get out of high school, then it has to be fairly easy and have a low passing score.

Problem: If the test is easy, it would not need a low passing score! If you ignore the “curve,” the average score on this test was probably close to a 40 (around 38 out of 87 possible points). That’s too difficult people! If a test has the appropriate difficulty and is well worded, and if everyone needs to pass it to get a regents diploma – the average score should not be close to 40! And a curve should not be necessary. The algebra regents in no way “established a minimum level of competency.” If that was the case, then the scores would be very high, not very low, and some students would actually ace it – anyone have a student that aced it?

Bottom line: The state needs to develop reasonable standards. They need to be doable in the amount of time we teachers have. When regents week rolls around, the tests need to be worded properly and reflect those reasonable standards. They should also do away with unrealistic questions like finding the length of the diagonal of a piece of paper – give me a break. They want to test the pythagorean theorem, then give a picture of a right triangle, give two of the sides and ask them to find the third.

June 23, 2008 pm30 11:48 pm 11:48 pm

Rick,

If the average score is close to a 40 out of 87, that doesn’t necessarily mean the test is too difficult. The students are not well prepared. You don’t lower the standards just because students are not scoring well. The standards are already quite low considering this is the only math Regents exam students need to pass to get out of high school. The problem is they are getting to high school without the necessary skills so it will take some students all four years to pass it.

Are there perfect scores? Most certainly. There are plenty throughout the state. I had 8th graders scoring 86, 85, 83, 82….and a low of something like 62 (and that was an outlier).

Why can’t students find the length of a diagonal of a piece of paper? It’s a simple application of the Pythagorean Theorem.

June 24, 2008 am30 12:18 am 12:18 am

i thought i did bad… but i checked and i think i got 3 multiple choice questions wrong

June 24, 2008 am30 10:20 am 10:20 am

For anyone who has been following math a exams, the “passing” raw score has always been less than 50%. The idea that the tests are sent away so that a scale can be determined just says that there is no standard being set but rather accomadated.
As for Jim, have you ever taught at an inner city school. Your opinion of what students do might change.

June 25, 2008 am30 2:35 am 2:35 am

I think the difficulty with this test comes from several sources:

First of all, as Jim said above, the students are not well prepared. They are coming into high school with very weak skills, and it is difficult (especially where I teach in the Bronx) to address the needs of these students and cover the curriculum. It was difficult for many teachers who previously taught Math A over 3 or 4 semesters to pace this course appropriately. I myself was left with very little time to review before the exam, and rushed through much of the curriculum.

Second, the focus was most definitely not on the algebra. Students with good literacy skills scored highly on this test. Those who have difficulty with reading comprehension were, quite frankly, screwed. Let the English Regents test literacy skills. This is supposed to be a math test! Too many questions relied on the student’s understanding of non-mathematical terms (like gas mileage) that have no bearing on their understanding of the problem or its solution. I am confident that the majority of my students who did poorly were capable of solving these problems, but were not quite sure about what they were being asked. The Regents should be a test of math skills. I agree with jd2718 – teach the skills, then worry about the applications. There is an unfortunate trend in math education to teach using concrete examples and real-world problems. The trouble is that it is much easier to move from the abstract to the concrete than it is to go in the other direction. Teach the Pythagorean Theorem using right triangles, then worry about ladders leaning against the sides of buildings.

Finally, the way in which many of the problems were worded was just ridiculous (by the way, I thought the question about the walkway was among the fairest questions on the exam!). The types of questions that were asked were too dissimilar from those that students encountered in their textbooks (we were forced to use Prentice Hall) and in the sample tasks that the DOE made available last fall. They required a level of synthesis that few students are capable of at this point in their education. Overall, it was a poorly planned and poorly executed exam. I just hope that the DOE and State Education Department give us enough time to work the kinks out of this new curriculum before looking for another quick fix.

16. Just a Teacher in an INNER city school permalink
June 26, 2008 pm30 1:50 pm 1:50 pm

June 2, 2009 pm30 9:48 pm 9:48 pm

I’m in 8th grade – Intergrated Algebra. My Regents are on the 17th and I’ve been getting above 95 averages in every quarter for Algebra. However, I don’t have that great of a teacher…meaning she doesn’t know what she’s doing, nor does it seem like she cares (we’ve had a budget cut and this is her last year here). I know that my grades might reflect something different, but I’m still worried that I won’t get a good score on my Regents. Do you have any suggestions to helping me boost my confidence about this? Any study strategies? Please…help me out! My teacher has been giving our class old Regents Exams but it doesn’t help much when you’re a week behind on things in class and you’re teacher only gets through 5 questions in the packet per day (because she plays on her computer for half the class)…and you don’t know what you’re doing when you get home and it’s time for homework. It’s all so confusing, and my teacher just isn’t doing anything to really HELP us…so I’ve gone to desperate measures…going on the internet for help. It would be greatly appreciated (: Thank you.

June 26, 2008 pm30 4:46 pm 4:46 pm

BRAVO to “Just a Teacher….” You said it!

And now that the scale is out, I must say that I am terribly disappointed that 30 out of 87 is a passing score. That means a student could get 15 out of 30 multiple choice correct and get nothing else correct! I don;t understand it. IIMO, a student should get 20 out of 30 and get about 10 out of the remaining 27. That would lead to 50 for a passing score. Students who have not taken the course could get 30! Why bother to have an exam if you aren’t going to hold the students to some level of competency!

June 26, 2008 pm30 4:47 pm 4:47 pm

You said it “Just a Teacher…” Bravo!

And now that the scale is out, I must say that I am terribly disappointed that 30 out of 87 is a passing score. That means a student could get 15 out of 30 multiple choice correct and get nothing else correct! I don;t understand it. IIMO, a student should get 20 out of 30 and get about 10 out of the remaining 27. That would lead to 50 for a passing score. Students who have not taken the course could get 30! Why bother to have an exam if you aren’t going to hold the students to some level of competency!

June 26, 2008 pm30 6:45 pm 6:45 pm

Most of these comments come from teachers who teach the class. Have you ever thought of asking a student (like myself) how they thought it was. I am an advanced math student in Integrated Algebra. I thouht the test was challenging. Some of the questions were bogus and others were /okay/. But in all I didn’t really like the test. I’ve been in the high eighties all year and I failed the regents with a 64% raw. But just now I got a phone call telling me that I actually get an 82! So the test was difficult and you really had to think. I thought most of the test was fair…so please ask the students and don’t rely on thier test scores alone.

June 26, 2008 pm30 8:04 pm 8:04 pm

i got a 99. and only got MC wrong. i am an 8th grader. it wasnt hard. i thought it was EXTREMELY easy. stupid teachers.

21. a parent permalink
June 27, 2008 am30 8:28 am 8:28 am

I looked at the conversion chart. According to it, if you got 99 that means you lost only 1 point. You are saying you got 1 MC wrong. Each MC is worth 2 points. So, if you lost 2 points your score should be 98 not 99 according to the conversion chart posted by NTSED. You must have lost just one point in one of the open ended question. Great job and I am very proud of you.

Scoring 99 is wonderful and I wish my son did that. He only got 94 but, he is only 11 yrs old and is in 7th grade. I am proud of his score but he could have done better.

22. June 27, 2008 am30 8:34 am 8:34 am

This is the link for conversion chart,
http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/osa/concht/june08/ia.pdf

23. June 27, 2008 am30 8:44 am 8:44 am

Does anyone know where and who grades the Integrated Algebra Regents exam?

June 27, 2008 pm30 11:47 pm 11:47 pm

Remo,

A committee of teachers from each school district grades the papers – a minimum of 3 teachers has to grade each paper – not every necessarily every question though. The exams are usually graded at the school giving the exam.

This year each school made copies of the answer sheets and sent them to the exam publisher to be evaluated. A few committees were then convened in Albany to create the conversion chart.

Hopefully the 30 out of 87 passing score will improve over the next few tests.

June 27, 2008 pm30 11:50 pm 11:50 pm

Remo

A quick clarification – the teachers graded these – they only sent the papers to the publisher to help with the stats the committee needed to create the conversion chart.

26. margarete fox permalink
June 28, 2008 pm30 10:20 pm 10:20 pm

What a joke!!!! The state has succeeded in making a complete mockery of the Integrated Algebra Regents!!! The have compromised our commitment as teachers. The state comes out with a very ambitious curriculum for the integrated course. A curriculum that is almost impossible to cover in the time that we have our students, but all said and done we do somehow cover the material and prepare our students for the very rigorous test. Then…a test is given were a raw score of 30 (that is a 34%) is passing. How outrageous!!! At that cutoff, many of my 7th and 8th grade students who have never taken the course, could have passed that regents. I’m not sure what the people in the state department are thinking, but there certainly is no communication between their ivory tower and the teachers in the trenches doing the work. One other point…that cutoff of 30 only rewards the bottom students. The students who did really well, in the 90% range, get no extra points. Again…what a joke!!!!

27. sarah john permalink
June 29, 2008 pm30 5:04 pm 5:04 pm

Does anyone know if the state ever releases the state wide statistics on how the scores faired for the Integrated Algebra? Many of us would like to know the rate for pass and fail on this test as well as how many scored 100%.

June 30, 2008 pm30 6:08 pm 6:08 pm

I am still very confused on what happened with this NYS Integrated Algebra Regents test- my son did fine and he said the test wasn’t that bad but why is there so much contraversy about this test. And if they did implement a curve I believe a curve is given to everyone not just the ones that need it no? Or maybe things have changed since my day of the curve system in college. My sister told me that only 2 kids passed it at her school – a small town school but still. I am curious to see what the story is. I have a call into my son’s guidance counselor but I’m not sure if school is still open or not.

29. nun ya permalink
July 3, 2008 am31 6:24 am 6:24 am

that test was hard. point blank . all yall frontinq!

July 3, 2008 pm31 9:02 pm 9:02 pm

i didn’t think that it was too bad…..but i did get a few wrong because of the wording. maybe the state should just give up on trying to make state tests. they should have English teachers making sure that the wording was ok

July 3, 2008 pm31 9:05 pm 9:05 pm

does anyone know how many people passed the test without the curve? And how many got a 100%?

July 3, 2008 pm31 9:06 pm 9:06 pm

Get over it…at least they gave a curve

July 3, 2008 pm31 9:06 pm 9:06 pm

it brought my entire grade point average down and made me fail one of my regents

July 7, 2008 am31 3:28 am 3:28 am

this test WAS SO HARD…. i mean i am a high 90s student all year long in this class and i get a freakin 80 on the regents …ummm doesnt seem right

35. July 7, 2008 am31 3:37 am 3:37 am

My impression was that the scale squeezed almost all of my students, whether they be 70′s or 80′s or 90′s algebra students… into the mid 80′s through low 90′s. Very few exceptions. Strange scale, from that point of view.

Clearly part of what happened is I taught a regular, old-fashioned algebra course, and then added on some integrated stuff in the Spring. But there was still something weird about the scaling of the higher scores.

July 7, 2008 pm31 8:14 pm 8:14 pm

does anyone know the average of what students scored on this test

July 11, 2008 am31 7:29 am 7:29 am

That test was so easy I got a 100 b/c I’m nice lik that and all the other kids who took the test passed also and we were in 8th grade

July 12, 2008 am31 3:50 am 3:50 am

the test was not easy ….ask like anyone and i am pretty sure unless u are like SUPER SMART they would say it was so hard

39. July 17, 2008 pm31 6:41 pm 6:41 pm

As a parent, do you know if there is an online site to help my son study for the exam to retake in August?

July 24, 2008 pm31 6:33 pm 6:33 pm

i bevlieve if you go to te bookstore there is a review book they just came out with

41. August 5, 2008 pm31 9:34 pm 9:34 pm

ok. i’ve heard that the exam was mostly math a with some integrated. some havn’t even gotten their results yet. such a hard test!!!!

August 7, 2008 pm31 8:05 pm 8:05 pm

Can anyone clarify if -2^2 is equal to -4 or 4, please?

August 7, 2008 pm31 8:32 pm 8:32 pm

4

44. August 7, 2008 pm31 9:17 pm 9:17 pm

“unary negation” (the minus sign in front of a number or variable) should be evaluated after the exponent. So $-2^2 = -(2^2)$, that is, -4.

August 11, 2008 am31 3:18 am 3:18 am

I just got my results and I’m so happy! I scored a 96 on the exam. I must admit the test wasn’t as hard as many describe. It was as anticipated in my opinion.

August 11, 2008 am31 3:26 am 3:26 am

P.S. Are they going to show the results of how students preformed statewide at any point?

August 12, 2008 am31 1:12 am 1:12 am

Dear NYS:

A tired mother

48. just my .02 permalink
August 12, 2008 am31 5:58 am 5:58 am

“Tired Mother”

As a teacher, I think I speak for the majority of teachers here in saying that we are sorry that this happened to your child. I can also say that the vast majority of us do our absolute best to make sure everyone (especially students with disabilities) has an opportunity to pass. Remember, we are judged by our results. In fact, I get much more joy out of seeing struggling students pass than exceptional learners. I think we all probably do.

Having said that, tutors, worries, and sacrifices are all part of having a child– learning disabled or not. I know this will probably not make you feel better but your child will thank you for doing all you could to help him. (I know you don’t do it for recognition.) When all is said and done, you will know in your heart that you did your best to give your child advantages in life and this will give you some solace.

49. we need better math teachers permalink
August 13, 2008 pm31 8:45 pm 8:45 pm

alright that test was so hard in june. half the crap that was on it, WE DIDNT EVEN LEARN. NY STATE MATH TEACHERS STINK. i go to vestal, and all the math teachers SUCK! they dont teach right at all. one of the math teachers watched muppet babies the last week of school instead of studying for the test. maybe if we had better teachers that would actually take the time to teach us this stuff, we all would of done fine. but all the teachers are in such a rush. I learned more from the barron review book thing than i did the whole year in math class. I am not saying its all the teachers fault but they really need to care more. oh….and if i fail the one in august, do i have to retake the whole course over again? or can i just retake it in janurary? because i passed the course itself but not the regents..just wondering. i am not sure if i failed it yet.

50. we need better math teachers permalink
August 13, 2008 pm31 8:56 pm 8:56 pm

can someone please awnser my question i posted beforeee? i really need to know. thanks

51. August 14, 2008 am31 1:38 am 1:38 am

You insult all the math teachers in NYC, then come whining back for an answer?

Well, ok anyway. Each district can have its own policy, so you will need to ask in your school.

But while I’ve got your attention:

1. you clearly did not learn enough from just a review book. You need a teacher, and

2. Do your best to pass now, so that you won’t need more hard answers.

52. October 19, 2008 am31 6:09 am 6:09 am

im a student and i got a 100 perfect score it was pretty easy but come on 9th grade students should be able to easily figure out what the questions were saying like the diagonal of a paper = hypothesis . every1 should know that

February 4, 2009 am28 12:16 am 12:16 am

im a senior and i took the Math A regent this past week. I think the Test Was EXTREMELY hard…i hate the Open questions where you have to right out and solve the problem..i studied but it was just too Much..is Like they dont want us to Ever graduate >=S..REGENTS SUUCCKKK!!!!!!..their should never Exist such thing!. WATCH when im president xP jejejeje

May 1, 2009 pm31 4:31 pm 4:31 pm

My daughter is an 8th grader who has been a perennial honors student, member of Arista, and mulitple winner of her school’s annual science fair. She is in AP science but not math and was denied the opportunity to retake the test for AP math even though other students were allowed to retake and subsequently allowed to switch to AP math. She scored a 100 and a 99 in the two marking periods in math and she and her teacher feel that she would have no problem taking the Regents exam and she should take it before entering High School. She has been accepted to the Bronx High School of Science. However, her middle school principal will not allow her to take the Regents because she was not in the AP math class. How do we resolve this “Catch 22″? Is there somewhere else she can take the exam? What do we need to do to register for the exam? Where do we go? Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

A concerned family

55. May 3, 2009 pm31 11:33 pm 11:33 pm

I’m pretty sure NY State says you’re not supposed to take the exam unless you are in a course designed to prepare for that exam, so I am guessing that officially you are out of luck. Unofficially? who knows?

56. May 21, 2009 pm31 4:32 pm 4:32 pm

what up

June 2, 2009 pm30 7:12 pm 7:12 pm

i need the answer sheet…TAHNK YOU SO MUCH

June 18, 2009 pm30 1:15 pm 1:15 pm

can someone explain how to do number 11 on this fall 2007 integrated algebra sampler test