Professional Experience and Personal Reflections
by Lisa Bowstead, Founder

PREVIOUS                                                                                                    NEXT

Students in NY will take
TWO Algebra Regents this Year
November 5, 2013

Strangely, there's not much mention of this in NYC media... Here's an interesting  article from a Syracuse paper: 

Common Core dilemma: Some students will take two algebra Regents exams this year: 

According to the article, if a student fails the new test, but passes the old test, they will get a passing score for the year.  THIS year. 

I've been looking at the new curriculum, as designed by NY State. I am not sure how teachers are going to teach the new material. There is an emphasis on students being able to explain the mathematical concepts using tables and illustrations, which seems like a good idea in theory, but in reality many students are not equipped to see math in terms of drawings and most cannot organize their thoughts in terms of tables. Don't get me wrong, I totally support teaching for different styles, but NY State's curriculum REQUIRES all students in Algebra I to be fluent in explaining illustrations and tables, as well as the mechanics of the Math itself. 

More importantly, the lessons in NY State's curriculum are heavily exploratory, requiring students to make sense of wordy and complex real-world situations. Assuming that this type of understanding and appreciation of math is the point of all of the curriculum changes, I'd like to know when the students will learn and practice and master the Math SKILLS  that will be on the really big and critically important year-end test? (Look carefully: it's not in the curriculum)

My heart goes out to all of the teachers and students who will attempt to follow NYS's new curriculum for Algebra I.

Here is the link to the complete NYS curriculum for Algebra I: 
Follow the link on the right for Student Materials. 

Yes, the old Regents Exams needed to be revamped, but Algebra is Algebra. The concepts of Algebra have not changed in 1,500 years. For some reason, NY State has taken it upon itself to reinvent Algebra from the bottom up. This was not necessary to meet the national standards for Algebra  proficiencey, in fact, it is contrary to the idea of a "common" curriculum. 

FYI, here are the National Standards for Algebra: 

I've seen the Glenco Text that many NYC schools are using. I generally like Glenco texts. This one is student and teacher friendly. What worries me, however, is that the NY State exam will look like the NY State curriculum, and not like the Math in the Glenco textbook.