Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Public Needs To Know

I didn't mean to do it, but I was responsible for busting a young man's bubble. I told him the raw score to pass the Integrated Algebra regents was 30 (out of a possible 87) and that a grade of 81 equated to getting only 65% of the exam correct. His grandmother, an educated woman looked at me in disbelief. Thankfully this young man will be attending a private boarding school in Connecticut where he will be able to get a real education, an education very different than the one our education mayor has foisted upon us.

After my encounter with this family, I stopped at the community college where I teach (I had to reverse a grade) and met up with the chairperson. We had a long discussion about grades and how the high schools today are not preparing students to succeed in college. Mr. Education Mayor has improved his graduation rates and at the same time destroyed the success rates of the college.For one business to thrive another must meet the bulldozer. This is what is happening to the community colleges. Their devastation is a by product of the mayor's programs.

It is really hard to fight city hall and win. The high schools must develop curriculum that will teach the algebra basics to students who have passed the regents. They need to emphasize the skills Integrated Algebra just skims over and the regents does not test. We can't get the state to change the graduation requirements so we must be like MacGyver and work with what we have to achieve the results needed to help these kids succeed. The education mayor only cares about testing and results. Knowledge is not something that concerns him. There are courses now that supposedly do this, but I wonder how rigorous the curriculum is and how closely it parallels what is taught in the colleges. I wonder if these classes are just dumping grounds for the kids who cannot pass regents math. I worry that no one cares about these kids beyond getting them to graduate so the statistics will be good.


Anonymous said...

My neighbord told me he obtained 84 in the same test you mention. Does it mean he only got 67, 68 percencent of the exam correct?

Pissedoffteacher said...


Tex said...

Is there a place where the public can get the complete break down of raw scores correlating to percent scores?

In our leafy suburban school district it is an unspoken rule that passing most Regents tests only indicates success at the lowest level of academic achievement. Of course, this is bad for all subjects but is most damaging in mathematics.

Pissedoffteacher said...

cut off scores for all regents