There are teachers I work with who still adhere to the same regents standards that were around 20 years ago. Although it would be great if this was possible, its not. Twenty years ago, there was no NCLB. The students today are not the same regents students we taught then and it is important to remember that.
In the past there was tracking. Everyone was not pushed into academic classes. There were general, vocational and commercial diplomas available and students had a choice (sometimes the choice was made for them) as to which path to follow.
Even ten years ago, there was a choice. Not everyone needed a regents diploma. Students could graduate with Regents Competency exams and courses like pre-algebra and consumer math.
Now, in the interest of NCLB, everyone must be prepared to for college. The kids that could not follow an academic program 30 years ago are the kids in our algebra and geometry classes today. Some are extremely bright, but many are short a few cans in the six-pack part of their brain when it comes to mathematics. But, in spite of this, they are learning. I know, I see progress every day.
Will my students pass the regents? I don't know but I am hoping that if I pick and choose the right parts of the curriculum, they will be able to succeed. I'm not teaching to the test , I am teaching what I hope they can and will learn. Will I even have an idea what is on the test before it is given?
Back to the beginning. Teachers have to get over the notion that passing a regents means the course has been learned. We can all thank Richard Mills and his illustrious Board of Regents for making the regents a totally worthless exam. If we are teaching a repeater class or an even lower one, we have to teach these kids what they can do and pass or fail them on this work, not on the same work we taught 30 or 20 or 10 years ago. We are not lowering our standards. The state already did that when they insisted everyone take these dummied down regents. The country already did this by making the kids take the exams because of that stupid, hurtful NCLB law.