Newsday editorial - education dept flunks regents math
- To: ARN-L@interversity.org
- Subject: Newsday editorial - education dept flunks regents math
- From: "John Lawhead" <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 13:34:15 -0400
Newsday, June 23, 2003
Department Flunks Regents Math Exam
Nothing's more thrilling for kids in school than to see an authority figure
brought down to size. Just ask any teacher whose inadvertent boo-boo on the
blackboard has been greeted with shrieks of laughter. Today, that red- faced
authority figure is not a teacher or even a principal but the whole State
Education Department. It has been caught erring in the writing of the statewide
Math A Regents exam administered to high schools students last week.
But Question 14, which turns out to have two correct answers, is no laughing
matter. Because of it and other problems, schools are reporting shockingly high
failure rates - as much as 85 percent in some districts. And failure to pass the
Math A Regents prevents students from graduating.
Problems of this scale this are simply unacceptable. Once the state Board of
Regents started ratcheting up the standards for graduation, it had a right to
expect not only the students to respond but also the bureaucrats in Albany. The
kids are doing their part: Achievement levels on state tests are rising. Last
week New York rose above the pack in the big national assessment of 4th grade
reading, jumping to six points above the national average.
But the bureaucrats aren't faring as well. The scoring for last year's physics
Regents was so inexplicably off base that many Long Island schools asked colleges
to disregard the scores of their student applicants. And now it has happened
again: Last week's physics Regents also resulted in reports of unexpectedly low
On the jinxed Math A test, the education department agreed last week to accept
either of two answers to Question 14 , and said it may make "other
accommodations" after analyzing what went wrong. With such egregious failure
rates, it had better. But it should never have let such flaws infiltrate so
important a test in the first place. Commissioner Richard Mills should read his
staff the riot act. Problems this sweeping can undercut confidence in the whole
high-standards movement. They must stop.
Tired of spam? Get advanced junk mail protection with MSN 8.
Post a Message to arn-l: