Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What Was Your Regents Exam Grading Experience Like Today?

I spent today getting "normed" for the ELA Regents exam.

I have been tasked with grading the Part 3 component - the Question #26 (Controlling Idea Paragraph) and the Question #27 (Literary Element Paragraph.)

There was not one teacher in the room who thought the Part 3 component from this administration of the ELA Regents test was a fair or well-designed task.

Not one.

Many teachers were really angry that the NYSED decided to use "insight" as the topic for the Controlling Idea Paragraph.

The consensus seemed to be that many students would not know exactly what "insight" meant, and even if they did, they wouldn't be able to develop a controlling idea using the two passages the NYSED provided for this part of the exam because the passages didn't fit well together with the topic or each other.

The anchor papers and practice papers for this part of the exam were not favorable to students either - the full credit examples and practice papers were quite advanced and it seems unlikely that, given how much difficulty students had with the passages and the topic, we'll see a ton of short response paragraphs getting full credit.

With the grading chart being quite harsh (see here), I have a difficult time seeing the ELA Regents exam scores doing anything other than plummeting this time around.

I hope I'm wrong about that.

Alas, many other teachers I spent the day "norming" with today felt the same way.

Those of you out there grading, what was your experience like?

I am particularly interested in hearing from ELA and ESL teachers.

Were there many teachers out there who thought the test was well-designed or fair?

Were there any?


  1. Some of our honors students absolutely raged about the obscurity of the prompt and the lack of connection between the poem and passage. Never have I, nor my English colleagues, seen a more abstract passage, and I'm talking all the way back to the Roger Ascham passage on the wind back in the 90s. Isn't it interesting that in the push for informational text, with the glorification of text complexity and lexile scores, the poorly constructed question involved ambiguous fiction? Take a look at the newly updated planned modules for grade 11. Whoever selected the works never taught actual, breathing teenagers. Neither did whoever designed this part of the exam.

    1. Not to mention that we have been hitting kids over the head w/ informational text - no wonder science fiction baffled them.

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