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Math A Regents – today

June 20, 2007 pm30 3:56 pm

The June 2003 Math A Regents was a disaster throughout New York State (see previous post) – not just in the Bronx and Brooklyn where everyone expects failure, but in the rural areas, the other cities, and most importantly for the politicians, in the suburbs as well. After the June 2003 Math A, politicians from throughout New York State became (briefly) interested in math. The June results were throw out for seniors – they sat for the exam – they could graduate. For everyone else, a new scale was issued (not until August!).

Old Math A’s, scoring guides, and conversion charts 

Scale? Yes, our Math A and Math B Regents are scale. Currently they are 86 and 88 points respectively, and are scaled to numbers out of a hundred on something of an erratic curve. Each administration of each test, the scaling is different, and not announced in advance. So a child, conscious of how much of the test he has confidently completely, does not know what score he has earned.

passing scores are now something like 35 out of 86

(more beneath the fold —>) So, back to the story, a new scale was issued in August, the August Math A exam was cancelled, (we have June, August, and January Regents), and a panel quickly recommended more multiple choice (30 instead of 20), less free response (where the wipe-out had occured), and to eventually replace the exam.

The new Math A was easier, and the scale was far softer. Since June 2003 there has been grumbling about what a lousy exam it is, but since the passing scores are usually something like 35 out of 86, (I think that’s the current cut score), it doesn’t get much louder than grumbling. And, despite the State’s protestations to the contrary, the exam has been shifted slightly away from performance and back towards content, where it should be.

There are still problems. The exam continues to test non-standard New York State math vocabulary. Questions are placed in unusual and inappropriate real-world context. There are two point partial credit problems (how? why?) There are occasionally incorrect problems. But mostly, the entire state is just quietly waiting for it to go away.

Next: Math B

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2007 am30 1:17 am 1:17 am

    Only one problem with your post–35 out of 84 points(or less than 42% correct) is passing for a regents diploma and the passing to get a local diploma is even less.

  2. June 21, 2007 am30 3:46 am 3:46 am

    You are, of course, correct. But it gets worse. I’m going to keep Regents-related posting for a while. Just wait until I get to B.

  3. June 23, 2007 am30 4:13 am 4:13 am

    What sort of math test do you think is good? For example, what sort of questions will it ask, and is it better if they include proofs or other inherently non-multiple-choice questions?

  4. blake permalink
    June 26, 2007 am30 12:01 am 12:01 am

    lol the math a regents score has gone soft, my scaled sore was a 79, (i think my raw score was a 94 or 95), not only is the scaled score esaier, so have the questions on the test itself, the part 4 questions were very simple

  5. corrine smith permalink
    January 24, 2008 am31 5:12 am 5:12 am

    what would a 45% out of 100% be on the on the regents?

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