6.  There is no 2-year Algebra I program allowed. (Nor a 1.5-yr. program either)
        see number 5
I think this statement is in direct opposition to the one in number 8.  No two  year algebra 1 program or 1.5 year program means that the state is expecting these kids to somehow muster up and pull themselves into a position to somehow pass this class.  Terrific.  See my comment to number 8.
7.  All classes are 90-minute blocks
        40 minute class periods
Great.  So what do we give up in order to find the extra 50 minutes?  Hmmmm.....Gee....maybe we can take away lunch, gym, and anything else that the students might actually enjoy and perhaps benefit from.
8.  Any student that passes the Regents exam, passes the course, regardless of their actual average.
        no 65 overall average then they have to repeat the course
So here we go. They pass the Regents.  Terrific.  Maybe they took a great crash course that helped them to squeak by with that magic passing grade.  But they were getting 40's and 50's most of the year.  We know that a passing grade doesn't stand for much in terms of actual knowledge of the skills taught because a student only needs to attain ability in approximately 40 percent of the course.  That passing Regents grade therefore means that the student has demonstrated skill commensurate with what he has been doing in class all year.  Now - if there were no Regents (extremely hypothetical) then this student would have undoubtedly failed the course and be required to retake the course and Regents, possibly helping them to achieve enough knowledge to pass one additional math course.  If there were a 2 year or 1.5 year course, perhaps this student might have passed the first time around - and really have known enough to move on.  You who are reading this probably are saying - geeezzz - did she really have to say that?  It's exactly what we all know.  I know that.  I just felt I had to get it in words.  Forgive me in advance.  But don't forgive the people who are sitting behind desks making these decisions instead of sitting in the classroom watching the effects of them.  I predict a huge increase in drop out rates.

Tzippy



-----Original Message-----
From: loretta boyce <lboyce@pbcschools.org>
To: nyshsmath <nyshsmath@mathforum.org>
Sent: Fri, May 27, 2011 6:15 am
Subject: Re: hypothetical school

nyshsmath@mathforum.org writes:
I know you are busy at this time of year.  But I have something for you to ponder.........

This is about a hypothetical school in a first-ring suburb with cohort sizes around 110.
our cohorts are approx 90... graduating classes mid 70's
The BOE/Administration has outlined the following edicts regarding grades:

1.   No marking period grades below a 50 can ever be given.
        this has changed a few times in the last few years but currently nothing below a 50 for the first two marking periods...
2.  Every student, regardless of IEP conditions MUST take all Regents exams.
        we follow whatever state regs are... I believe they sit for the minimum graduation requirement exams and then can use their safety net (if they have one)
3.  Local exams are forbidden if a Regents exam is available.
        teacher discretion here, but if it is more than a one year course then we HAVE to give a final exam as well as the regents
4.  The accelerated 8th grade Algebra class is broken up once in high school.
        our 8th graders are mixed in once they reach algebra...
5.  There are no "lower level" Math courses...every student takes the same level course and are mixed in with all other ability levels.
        we have a two year program to the algebra exam but the first year is extremely difficult on the teacher...
6.  There is no 2-year Algebra I program allowed. (Nor a 1.5-yr. program either)
        see number 5
7.  All classes are 90-minute blocks
        40 minute class periods
8.  Any student that passes the Regents exam, passes the course, regardless of their actual average.
        no 65 overall average then they have to repeat the course
I am VERY interested in your thoughts on any or all of the above conditions.  Agree or disagree, I could use the information.

Thanks!

Jim