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June 2017 NYS Regents in Geometry
Posted:
Jun 22, 2017 2:53 PM



I have taught Geometry for 16 years and have always had more than 90% of my students pass the exam. This year only 74% of my students passed. Just last year, 97% of my students passed. I used the same NYS Common Core / EngageNY based curriculum both years. As other teachers have expressed, the number of students achieving mastery dropped, and I did not have one student score a 90 or above. I found the questions on this June test to be worded in a way that confounded many of my students, not because they did not know the content vocabulary, but because the questions were poorly written. What does "describe the sequence of transformations" mean exactly? Do you want the center and angle of rotation? Should students use composition of function notation? This is just one example of some of the vague language on this exam. The fact that many of our students struggle with reading is no big secret. Shouldn't an exam meant to evaluate a student's knowledge of mathematics be written precisely? Precision is certainly expected in the student responses. Clear evidence of this is the scoring rubric for #34, the gas tank problem. Students were expected to derive the radius of the tank given the volume, in gallons, and the length. Then they were expected to use the relationship between radius and diameter to determine the length of a pole inserted into the tank and extending 1 foot outside. Forgetting to convert gallons to cubic inches resulted in students receiving only 2 of the 4 points. Considering the complexity of the problem such a penalty seems excessive, especially in light of the lack of precision given to language used in many of the problems. I hope this test is an anomaly.



