State officials have regraded a standardized math test that most New York high school students failed this year, transforming thousands of failing marks into passing ones.
Rather than rescoring all the math regents exams, the state Department of Education released tables to regrade the tests to more closely match the 2002 test results. For example, a ninth- or 10th-grader who received a 47% or 48% score in June now has a passing grade of 65.
The recalculations mean the portion of students passing rose from 28% to 55% for 12th-graders, from 28% to 60% for 11th-graders, from 28% to 64% for 10th-graders and from 61% to 80% for ninth-graders. The calculations are based on the scores from 400 of the state’s 700 school districts.
An independent panel appointed by the state Board of Regents calculated the table based on the results of the June 2002 test results. “It essentially corrects for the anomalies of the June 2003 exam,” state Education Commissioner Richard Mills said.
The panel was created because of high failure rates that prompted the state to throw out the test, which is usually required for graduation. Thousands of students in June faced the possibility of being held back from graduation days before their ceremonies.
After education officials received hundreds of calls and e-mails from angry parents and teachers, Mills gave school districts the option of discarding the scores and substituting coursework results for upperclassmen who needed a passing grade to graduate. Juniors and seniors who took the test will have the option of using the new, higher test scores or their course grades.