Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New York Standardized Tests to Become Harder

It's no secret to public school teachers in New York: The state tests have become a joke. I can't speak to all subjects, but the prior statement is unequivocally true about Math especially at the high school level where some of the tests are laughable. In the mathematics curriculum, the laughable ease of the tests were most obvious in the Math A exams and, now, in the Integrated Algebra (IA) exam--both of which can be passed almost solely by doing OK on the multiple choice exams. The reason that the Math A and now the IA are so easy especially in comparison to other Math Regents exams (Math B /Algebra 2 Trig ) to pass has always been obvious to public school teachers. The easy one has always been the one that students must pass to get a diploma--No Child Left Behind rewards schools and states passed on High School pass rates...and not surprisingly our state responded -- by making it very easy to reach the minimum graduation requirement and proffering a very easy test to the students!

Well apparently, our state went a bit too far in its quest to ease up on the tests. According to a New York Times article, our students were doing better and better on state tests but our students were not doing any better on national tests. In other words, they were doing better in our state but when measured against students in other states...our kids were not showing any improvement.

So...expect the Integrated Algebra I exam to get a harder next year!