Fuzzy math on Regents exams may have affected state results, teachers say

Jul 7, 2011 by

Bunk questions might have thrown the results of state math tests taken by thousands of city students last month, public school teachers who gave and graded the tests say.

The Regents exams for Algebra II/Trigonometry were supposed to measure readiness for college – but teachers say several questions showed fuzzy math.

“It’s a serious problem – the tests didn’t tell us what the kids really know,” said Jonathan Halabi, a math teacher at the High School of American Studies in the Bronx.

Teachers gave an F to three of 39 questions on the exam – enough to make a difference in whether a student passes or fails.

On one open-ended problem involving graphs, teachers discovered three possible correct answers. The state decided to give students full credit for each.

For an intermediate algebra question, students were asked to choose one of four multiple choice answers, even though two were correct. Credit will be given for both answers.

And on another multiple-choice question, teachers say none of the answer options was correct, a charge that state education officials deny.

“We are confident in the construction of this exam and that students were not impacted in any way by the three test questions at issue,” spokesman Jonathan Burman said.

About 27,800 city high school students, mostly sophomores and juniors, took the advanced math exams given on June 21.

A passing grade counts toward an advanced



, which can help students get into college. Many high school classes also use the Regents as final exams.

via Fuzzy math on Regents exams may have affected state results, teachers say.

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