Analysis of Regents Math Test Is Ordered After Complaints|
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
New York Times
June 21, 2003
The New York State education commissioner, Richard P.
Mills, yesterday ordered a thorough analysis of this week's
Regents exam in mathematics after school administrators
statewide complained that the test was far too difficult.
Mr. Mills issued a statement saying: "Our goal is that
students across the state succeed in math and achieve
learning standards. In the past two days, we have heard
from lots of people, and I am concerned about reports that
many students had difficulty with the June Math A Regents
Mr. Mills added: "The State Education Department already
collects results for each exam and analyzes performance on
each test question. We are moving to get all that
information and analyze it as quickly as possible to ensure
the test fairly measures student achievement."
State education officials have asked schools to report
their results as quickly as possible so the data can be
Students must pass the math exam to graduate from high
school. Schools across the state reported that failure
rates were far higher than expected.
In a memo to local superintendents, a deputy commissioner,
James Kadamus, said that the state analysis would look at
the difficulty of individual questions and the cumulative
difficulty of the questions, and would compare student
performance the last three times the exam was administered.
He said he could offer little guidance to local officials
regarding the possibility that large numbers of high school
seniors would be barred from graduating because they failed
the test. "Some schools have inquired whether the State
Education Department has a policy on student participation
in graduation ceremonies," he wrote. "This is strictly a
local decision; school officials should make decisions on a
case by case basis. In order to receive a diploma, a
student must meet the state-established graduation
State graduation criteria currently require students to
pass the math exam with a minimum score of 55.
In New York City, Chancellor Joel I. Klein's office said
individual principals would decide whether students who had
failed the math test could participate in graduation.
Return to complete article list