New York Sees a Spike in Regents Exam Failures Five Years After Common Core

New York State Department of Education Building in Albany, NY. Photo credit: Matt H. Wade (CC-By-SA)
New York State Department of Education Building in Albany, NY
Photo credit: Matt H. Wade (CC-By-SA 3.0)

David Rubel, an education policy consultant, released a report that showed a spike in the failure rate of New York students on their math and ELA Regents Exam. This is five years after Common Core.

In his summary he writes:

It’s now five years since the Algebra 1 (Common Core) Regents and Exam was first used in June of 2014. After five years of a transition period, schools should be in a much stronger position to teach the Common Core (now known as the Next Generation Learning Standards). However, this year’s test results show a surprising shift downward with thousands more students failing the Algebra 1 Common Core Regents Exam. At the very least, the number of failing students should stay comparable with pre-Common Core Integrated Algebra Exam. There was also a significant increase in the number of students failing the ELA Regents exam. 

With the math exam he notes:

For reasons that have yet to be determined, last year’s Regents Exam was tougher for thousands of high school students. 13,074 more students failed the Algebra 1 exam this year than in 2016-17. The scoring system did not change so other factors must be in play. Two high need risk groups, students with disabilities and English Language Learners saw more students failing. 61% of students with disabilities group and 60% of English Language Learners are now failing the Algebra 1 Regents exam. Passing a math Regents exam is a requirement for graduation.

Regarding the ELA exam he wrote:

12,456 more students failed the ELA Regents in 2017-18 than in 2016-17; and increase of 6%. For the first two years of the ELA Common Core Exam, the test scores were impressive with a stable first year (2015-16) test results and even less students failing in the second year of test administration (2016-17) than with the old Comprehensive Regents exam. However, the 2017- 18 test scores have thrown a wrench into the transition. The increase in the failing students occurred with both students with disabilities (3,955) and English Language Learners (2,699). 49% of SWD students and 64% of ELL students failed the ELA Regents this year.

I can’t say that I am surprised. NAEP scores have been stagnant and there has been a widening gap between low and high performing students. ACT math scores have declined as well.

HT: The Hechinger Report

6 thoughts on “New York Sees a Spike in Regents Exam Failures Five Years After Common Core

  1. Ironic that Rubel doesn’t know when to use “fewer” instead of “less” when discussing the ELA exam results.

  2. I find it funny that the assumption was that results would at least stay the same in comparison to pre common core. The common core curriculum is garbage, that is the reason. Ask any educator in the field right now. But why ask us? Why should we know any better?

  3. Evidence be damned. More money is what is needed!

    Who cares about how these kids will cope with real life? No one involved in education in NY today.

    Public schools are on a suicide mission.

  4. Common Core ‘thinks’ sideways. It enables us to enter and operate programs not to conceive and design them.

  5. Both my parents graduated from NY schools back in the early 1950’s. I remember them talking about how tough the NY Regents exam was and how proud they were to have passed. It is ironic that Congress just passed an Evidence Based decision making bill! There is no evidence anyone in government makes decisions based on evidence! Else, Common Core and Fed Ed would be dead!

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