Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » WAAAAAHHH!


Filed at 10:20 am under by dcobranchi

New York State has re-scored this year’s Regent’s Math test which was deemed too hard(see Kim’s blog for a good summary). The passing score was lowered from 55 to 39. That this will allow the same percentage of students who passed the 2002 exam to pass this year indicates that this year’s test was much harder. All’s well that ends well. Except this article, which ends quite poorly:

An independent panel of math experts appointed by Mills found this week that the statewide test was too hard.

The panel, which is working to improve future tests, found the exam had no trigonometry questions, which was unfair to students who spent a lot of time preparing for that subject. It also noted there were three questions on the Pythagorean theorem, which it deemed a bit much for students who don’t understand it.

3 Responses to “WAAAAAHHH!”

Comment by
Michael E. Lopez
August 30th, 2003
at 2:42 pm

I can totally understand why you don’t want an overview test to focus too much on any one thing.

But at the same time, no one should be able to graduate from high school without being able to use ol’ Pythogoras’ little rule.

Perhaps what is needed is a small set of “threshold” questions, which test really basic theorems and operations. If you miss one, you fail the test.

Then you can go get a grade on the second section of the test, where every answer counts for points instead of pass/fail.


Comment by
August 30th, 2003
at 6:50 pm

If I remember correctly, I think I learned Pythogoras’ little rule in 8th grade. Surely a graduating senior should be able to do it?

Comment by
Skip Oliva
August 30th, 2003
at 7:44 pm

39? I don’t remember the NYS Regents math exam to be so burdensome that getting a 70 (the passing score back when I was in high school) is unreasonable. Heck, I took my first Regents math test in 7th grade and got around 95.