Saturday, March 06, 2010

In New York State's Race To The Bottom Academically Some "Knuckleheads" Have Proposed To Eliminate The New York State Regents Exams



In today's Newsday and tomorrow's New York Post and the Daily News, New York State in an attempt to save money has a proposal to eliminate 13 of 17 Regents exams and further dilute the once proud State academic standards that once made New York State the "gold standard" in education. This misguided proposal is estimated to save 13.7 million dollars because the State has proposed to cut the New York State Education Department's budget from 60 million dollars back in 2008 down to 43 million dollars. for the next school year.

Most educators have panned the knuckleheaded proposal and believe that it will further weaken already weakened academic standards and it was best described by Ms. Gloria Sessio who was quoted as saying " It's demeaning scholarship" . The elimination of the 145 year old New York State Regents exams is educationally damaging and will result in increasingly lowered academic standards. Furthermore, it will subject teachers to increased Administrative pressure to raise grades as they find devious ways to increase the school's graduation rate. The result would be a further lowering of academic standards since a 75% in New York City may not be a 75% in Scarsdale. On the other hand, the Regents exam grade of 75% is the same whether it is in Rochester or Riverhead.

It is bad enough that over the decade the State has "dumbed down" their tests at all education levels and which was once the "gold standard" in education has increasingly becoming a joke when compared to the national tests. Now some " knuckleheads" in Albany has proposed to further weaken the State's academic ability to compete not only nationally but globally. These "knuckleheads" should be fired or at least be hired by Tweed where they will fit right in with their "education on the cheap" and "children last" policies.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I usually agree with you but I think we could do away with the state exams.If you think DOE is a waste you should see SED.

jd2718 said...

I have been teaching for 13 years. During that time State Ed has produced nothing that makes me think "gold standard." In fact, the quality of their work is dropping.

And in my subject area, math, the exams are a complete embarrassment.

We disagree here.

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

Who the fuck wants to mark them?

Angry Nog

Invictus said...

What is it not being said is that it has nothing to do with "diluting" standards that are 145 years old, but you need to see the darker side of an action such as this. Most of the classes that a school has, especially at the secondary levels are based on an end, that is whether a student takes a set of regents during their Freshman, Sophomore, Junior or Senior years. If they get rid of the Regents on certain subjects, it would be at the discretion of the principal/local school boards to decide the standards/mix of classes needed to be given a diploma.

This is a can of worms that will open to further abuse of license areas of teachers in their schools. If students are not required to pass a math regents, then perhaps the principal will deem it worthy to have them take math classes based on some internet curriculum, game and to do so on their own time. Because there is not an exiting exam for this subject, then, it is obvious that cheating will be quite widespread everywhere.

In a world where a Math Regents is not applicable, then there would not be much of a necessity of even have a proper math licensed teacher to be in charge of such a joke of a class.

Anyway, a talk about getting rid of the Regents is one thing, whether they will really do it is something else. As it is, they have already emasculated the notion of high standards, as they will shorten the English Regents within the following years.

Invictus said...

What is it not being said is that it has nothing to do with "diluting" standards that are 145 years old, but you need to see the darker side of an action such as this. Most of the classes that a school has, especially at the secondary levels are based on an end, that is whether a student takes a set of regents during their Freshman, Sophomore, Junior or Senior years. If they get rid of the Regents on certain subjects, it would be at the discretion of the principal/local school boards to decide the standards/mix of classes needed to be given a diploma.

This is a can of worms that will open to further abuse of license areas of teachers in their schools. If students are not required to pass a math regents, then perhaps the principal will deem it worthy to have them take math classes based on some internet curriculum, game and to do so on their own time. Because there is not an exiting exam for this subject, then, it is obvious that cheating will be quite widespread everywhere.

In a world where a Math Regents is not applicable, then there would not be much of a necessity of even have a proper math licensed teacher to be in charge of such a joke of a class.

Anyway, a talk about getting rid of the Regents is one thing, whether they will really do it is something else. As it is, they have already emasculated the notion of high standards, as they will shorten the English Regents within the following years.

Chaz said...

Ivictus has got it right. If you did not have the State Regents just think how Principals could manipulate grades and graduation rates.

I agree that the days of the NYS Regents was the gold standard is gone and replaced by increasingly dumbed down tests but it is still better than nothing.

Invictus said...

The biggest outrage is that there is not much "outrage" from an educated Middle Class on what all these educational games really equate to for the future of their children and the entire country.

Dummy audiences ask not the really hard and important questions such as, what is the significance of higher graduation rates?(how do these grads fare in the real world?), is there a trick in how such skyrocketing regents passing rates for the last 6-7 years are not translating into real gains in parallel with the NEA exams?(are we being cheated by Bloomster?), why is Johnny B good not doing so well in college while he aced in his Small HS/Charter?(Maybe he was promoted, perhaps I had heckled that principal and those teachers too much?)....

In all, the system is a reflection of the wills and wants of the masses, they are deserving of what they are clamoring for, "better" "more responsive schools" (at the expense of real education.)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jonathan.

I've been teaching math for 21 years and each year the exams are watered down so much that my 11 years old grandson can do some of the examples.

If there has to be a regents in math, then create one, good, solid, "gold standard" exam that will encompass the math concepts that students will need to master before entering college.

Otherwise, the state is wasting my time by providing three nonsense math regents that are embarrassing.

Chaz said...

I understand that the entry Regents have been watered down to the point of making them almost irrelevant. However, just think if there were no tests, The administrators would pressure the teacher to pass and graduate students who are academically unqualified. Believe me many of these principals would just love to raise their graduation rates in this manner.

Anonymous said...

Chaz,
Aren't the principals already pressuring untenured teachers even with the present anemic regents exams?

Of course, I do see your point, and it would be worse!

Just imagine no state exit exam, every senior graduates on time, graduation rate is at 98%, and all the community colleges in the city are dealing with students that can't do the 3Rs. Interesting setback in our society.

Invictus said...

Principals pressure the APs who in turn pressure all teachers to do what is "possible" to increase passing rates. Students, especially the really sleek ones get a whiff of this, make class management, teaching and attendance nearly irrelevant. If principals do not get this from this underlings, they unleash other persuasive things, even if teachers are tenure. Tenure does not mean unwavering protection as before, especially in the light of weak union representation in small schools.

Anonymous said...

Chaz
Perhaps the elimination of these exams is one less weapon for principals to use against teachers. Just another way to look at it I suppose.

Anonymous said...

re:As it is, they have already emasculated the notion of high standards, as they will shorten the English Regents within the following years.

The English Regents has only been a 2-day affair for about 10 years. It was a much better, and harder-to-pass, exam in its previous incarnation. Those of us who grade it do not need to read two days' worth of writing (4 essays) to tell whether the student can or can't write worth a damn. It's actually a good idea to go back to a one day exam; if you follow the rubric strictly, it's almost impossible to fail the essays on the exam as it exists now. It is already an emasculated exam, and that being the case, it might as well be a one day exam rather than a two day one.

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