NYS Regents and Inequities in Education

All NYS residents are asleep at the wheel, especially if you have children.
I love the common core. I like the questions they want students to know on the state tests. I believe students can be ready for the state test by the end of the year without thousands of worksheets.

I was looking up information on the NYS Algebra Regents. I took the regents more than 40 years ago. I still remember the only question I got wrong. Today, the regents are very different. It’s more challenging which is good. The bad, the company who puts together the regents is making oodles of money and has made the scoring so convoluted, it’s disgusting. Pearson’s made the scoring so complicated to obscure the fact that most low income students will pass when they really shouldn’t.  It’s nice they lowered the bar, but it’s doing a dis service to them in the future. And this is what I find problematic and downright criminal.  A student only needs 27 of 86 points to pass. A passing grade that needs only 27 points is problematic for everyone. They cannot do 70% of the work. If you can only get an 80 on a test, you do not understand the material.

The scoring is culturally bias, and if I were a lawyer I would be challenging everything from education financing to for-profit testing. In fact, after reading several biographies of groundbreaking appointments of SCOTUS justices, I can see a young whipper snapper wanting to take up this cause. Unfortunately, I don’t think they exist anymore. Their issues are focused on lowering the bar for equal opportunity. What they are not realizing is that those in power revel in the inaccessibility of mathematics to keep a clear societal advantage.  Making it easier to pass makes friends with bad teachers, low socio economic groups, and certain ethnic cultures.

We, the public, are idiots. NYS education department sold its soul to Pearson’s who gets paid for creating and managing the test  Then to adjust for the biases of bad education and inequities by lowering the passing bar.

I’m observing a 3rd grade class in an urban school. 90% on free school lunch. I can get everyone of those kids proficient on the state test this spring.  The schoolwide curriculum is not addressing the fact that most children are ready to move to the next topic. They are stuck in strategies for addition and subtraction when all suburban schools are doing multiplication, division and fractions.  When I work independently with students I move them to multiplication and fractions. So I know some of them are ready. Unless students starts learning the multiplication facts now, they won’t be ready by April.

Just saying.


Something Fishy with NY State CC Algebra Regents Scores



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