I have attached an email and an attachment from Gerald DeMauro in response to your email. ?--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. Furman,
Thank you for your comments.
The State is neither intentionally setting the cut scores too high or too low to achieve some proportion failing or passing. In fact, the State does not use a normative model at all to determine these scores. The numbers of students who should or should not pass is not part of the considerations. If all pass this test that would be wonderful, but the important criterion is what it takes to demonstrate achievement of the standards, and that is based on equating to the Regents criterion for passing, which, in turn, is based on the standard setting study performed by New York State teachers.
To answer your question, it is expert New York State math teachers who determine the passing score on the component retesting. This is done through the standard setting study on Math A and equating to that standard.
As mentioned, the passing scores for component retesting are determined by the equating paradigm. That is, the difficulty of the questions determines how many must be answered correctly to achieve the same scale score. For example, If I were to ask you simple spelling questions, answering 100 of them correctly might not give me the same information about your level of reading skills as answering 20 questions correctly involving more complex questions.
To determine the passing scores on component retesting, we reference field testing results to performance on items given in common with the Regents. By doing this, we can first gauge the skills of the field test population on these common measures, and based on that, determine the difficulties of the component retesting items. Once this equating is determined, the cut scores are exactly the map onto the Regents cut scores.
I have attached an explanation of how we derive the Regents scale scores. Component retesting scale scores (and hence passing scores) are the next step in this process, and are derived through equating to the Regents.
In the meantime, I thank you for your comments and will pass them on to those I rely on for technical advice in these matters.
Jerry DeMauro, Coordinator of State Assessment
>>> "Gary Furman" <email@example.com> 05/06/02 05:51PM >>> I would like to know who establishes the scoring ranges for the component retesting because there has been A GREAT INJUSTICE DONE TO THE STUDENTS TAKING THE COMPONENT RETESTING. Looking at the percent of points students needed to fall into the 55-64 and 65 & above for the component retesting and comparing these to the percent of points students would have needed on the January Math A exam, we need an answer to WHY THE STATE IS PURPOSELY ATTEMPTING TO FAIL THESE STUDENTS. Let me explain. Consider the percent of points on each component:
Component 4 28/48 (58.33%) for a 55, 35/48 (72.92%)for a 65 Component 5 26/48 (54.17%) for a 55, 33/48 (68.75%)for a 65 Component 6 26/48 (54.17%) for a 55, 33/48 (68.75%)for a 65 Component 7 27/48 (56.25%) for a 55, 34/48 (70.83%)for a 65
On the January 2002 Math A regents the percent of points is much less: 42/85 (49.41%) for a 56 and 48/85 (56.47%) for a 65. If we use the same percents, the number of points on the components would be vastly different.
Therefore, who decides the scoring ranges on the component retests, the state or the testing company? The scores are not fair to these students. I wouldn't be surprised if a district or parent files a law suit because of these point totals.
As I have said before, these are the lowest achieving math students in our schools. They are seniors and may not graduate because of the scoring levels. We need to make the state take notice.
Please join me and send your dissatisfaction to the state education department.
Gary Furman Director of Mathematics Mohonasen Central School 2072 Curry Rd Schenectady, NY 12303 Phone (518) 356-8229