THE STATE EDUCATION
DEPARTMENT /
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234 
TO: 
EMSCVESID Committee

FROM: 
James A. Kadamus 
SUBJECT: 
Implementation Timeline for Mathematics Regents
Examinations 
DATE: 
December 1, 2005 
STRATEGIC GOAL: 
Goals 1 and 2 
AUTHORIZATION(S): 

Issue for Decision
Should the Regents accept the staff recommendation for a transition
plan to develop and implement the new high school Regents mathematics
examinations?
Review of policy.
Proposed Handling
This question will come before the EMSCVESID Committee for action on
December 8, 2005.
Procedural History
In March 2005, the Regents adopted the high school performance indicators
for Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry, along with the alignment
modifications to prekindergarten through grade 8, as recommended by the
Mathematics Standards Committee. At
that meeting,
the Regents also agreed to consider the Committee’s remaining four high school
recommendations at a later date. In
June the Regents reviewed the staff responses to the four recommendations and,
in October, approved the following policies on three of the recommendations:
·
That the mathematics graduation
requirement for a Regents Diploma will be the passing of one Regents
examination in mathematics, and the passing of three units of credit of high
school mathematics. Credit granted for
the Algebra course is limited to two units.
·
That the mathematics graduation
requirement for a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation will be the passing
of three units of credit of high school mathematics, and the passing of the
Regents examinations in Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.
·
That students who complete all
coursework and testing requirements for the Regents Diploma with Advanced
Designation in mathematics and/or science and take and pass three Regents
examinations in both mathematics and/or science with a score of 85 or better
will earn a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation, with an annotation on
the diploma that denotes mastery in mathematics and/or science.
Also in June, the Regents discussed the pros
and cons of test implementation timeline issues associated with the fourth
recommendation concerning the new high school mathematics Regents
examinations. After further discussion
in October, the Regents agreed to take action in December after providing a
public comment period to gather field input.
The Department posted an online survey, and received approximately 2,300
responses.
Background Information
The critical issues to be considered in setting the implementation
timeline for the new mathematics Regents examinations are the readiness of the
educational community in aligning the curriculum with the new mathematics
performance indicators, the opportunity for students to receive instruction
aligned to those performance indicators, and the adequacy of professional
development in preparing teachers to shift instructional practice to the new
mathematics high school courses.
Members of the educational community are strongly
encouraging the Department to move quickly to implement the new Integrated
Algebra and Geometry Regents examinations.
In response to that request and the survey results, staff recommend
approval of the following timeline for administering the new mathematics
Regents examinations:
o
schedule the first administration of the Integrated Algebra Examination
along with the Mathematics A Examination in June 2008;
o
schedule the administration of both the Integrated Algebra Examination
along with the Mathematics A Examination in January 2009 (the last
administration of Mathematics A);
o
schedule the first administration of the Geometry Examination along with
Mathematics B in June 2009 (the last administration of Mathematics B would be
in June 2010); and
o
schedule the first administration of the Algebra 2 and Trigonometry
Examination in June 2010.
The attached report provides more details on the results
of the online survey as well as the proposed implementation schedule for the
new mathematics Regents examinations.
Recommendation
VOTED: That the Board of Regents accept the staff
recommendations for the implementation timeline for the new Mathematics Regents
Examinations, as outlined in the attached document.
Timeline
Upon
approval by the Regents, notification of the implementation schedule will be
disseminated to the field.
Implementation Timeline for
New Mathematics Regents Examinations
The Mathematics
Standards Committee recommended that new Regents examinations be developed and
administered for each of the three new mathematics courses (Algebra, Geometry,
and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry). In June 2005, the Regents discussed the pros
and cons of test implementation timeline issues associated with the new
examinations. After further discussion
in October, the Regents agreed to take action in December after providing a
public comment period to gather field input.
There are
several critical issues to be considered in setting the implementation timeline
for the new mathematics Regents examinations:
·
the readiness of the educational community in aligning the curriculum
with the new mathematics performance indicators;
·
the opportunity for students to receive instruction aligned to those
performance indicators to meet unit of study and assessment graduation
requirements; and
·
the adequacy of professional development in preparing teachers to shift
instructional practice to the new mathematics high school courses.
Survey Results
The
Department posted an online survey to solicit field comment on implementation
of the new Regents Mathematics Examinations.
Approximately 2,300 responses were received. The survey was designed to collect responses on issues relating
to familiarity with the new mathematics performance indicators for grades 38
and high school; alignment of the mathematics curriculum with the new
mathematics standard and performance indicators; the preparation of school
staff for teaching the new high school Mathematics courses; and the preparation
of students for taking the new Regents examinations. A summary of some of the responses follows:
·
About
76 percent of respondents want the first Integrated Algebra Examination to be
administered in June 2008. Many
respondents commented that the Mathematics A and B Examinations should be
abandoned as soon as possible.
·
62
percent of respondents indicated they were very knowledgeable about the new
grades 712 mathematics standard, and 32 percent indicated they were somewhat
knowledgeable.
·
38
percent of respondents reported that for grades 78 they were very well aligned
with the new mathematics standard, while 39 percent were moderately aligned and
9 percent were not well aligned.
·
When
asked if district K12 mathematics curricula were aligned with the new
mathematics standard and performance indicators, 26 percent said yes, while 74
percent said no.
·
When
asked if their districts were in the process of aligning curricula to the
mathematics standard and performance indicators, 59 percent said yes, while 41
percent said no.
·
When
asked if professional development training programs had been designed to adjust
the mathematics curricula, 83 percent said no, while 16 percent said yes.
·
52
percent indicated they would object to the use of a vendor to develop the
Regents examinations, while 48 percent said that they would not object. The field was evenly divided about the use
of a vendor to produce Regents examinations.
What We Learned From the Survey Results
There is strong support
in the field for rapid implementation of the new Integrated Algebra
Examination, but major gaps in knowledge of the revised standards, curriculum
alignment, and professional development.
If the mathematics curricula are not well aligned with the new standard
and performance indicators, we know there will be difficulty in getting accurate
field test results and that a low level of preparedness among teachers could
damage the program if we move too quickly.
The following are issues that the Regents and Department staff must
consider based on the survey results in setting an implementation timeline as
well as staff comment where appropriate:
·
While
there have been some calls to administer the first Integrated Algebra
Examination in June 2007, Department staff do not recommend this course of
action. Attempting to administer the new
examination that quickly would impede our ability to ensure that all students
have received instruction based on the new mathematics standard and performance
indicators, and would compromise the steps necessary for the effective
development of the new Regents examinations. This leaves June 2008 as the first viable opportunity to
administer the new Integrated Algebra Examination.
·
There
is widespread concern in the field about the Mathematics A and B examinations
and a strong desire to move away from them. While this sentiment is strong, there are also data indicating that moving
too quickly involves risks that can negatively impact students.
·
Based
on discussions with mathematics educators and administrators and the survey
results, there appears to be an uneven shift to the new mathematics standard
and performance indicators in school districts and classrooms across the
State. There is still a sizable portion who have not made the transition, which
will impact instruction and subsequent student performance. High school mathematics instructors are more
knowledgeable than their peers in grades 38 about the new standard and
performance indicators. However,
successful completion of the Integrated Algebra course and Regents examination
is dependent on the instruction that students receive in grades 78.
· The uneven nature of the responses to the
questions in the survey clearly signals that the field, while anxious to move
to the new examinations, may not have done all of the background work necessary
to make an effective transition by June 2008. The uneven student access to the
new Mathematics Standard and curriculum across school districts will also
affect our ability to appropriately field test the new mathematics Regents
examinations. If field test data is skewed, this will negatively impact the test
development, standardsetting, and scaling processes.
·
Comprehensive professional development at all levels must occur to
ensure that instructional staff are prepared for the upcoming changes. The survey results on this point were
disturbing. Teachers must have
appropriate professional development and be comfortable with the direction that
both the Department and their respective school districts are taking regarding
the format and implementation of courses designed to help students meet the new
mathematics standard and performance indicators. Implementing these changes prior to appropriate training may hurt
students. While it is expected that
many districts will conduct more formal training, curriculum development, and
alignment activities during summer 2006 for implementation during the 20062007
school year, this remains an area of concern.
·
Department staff has discussed the possible need for a vendor to develop the new mathematics examinations
if these examinations become operational by 2008 and 2009, respectively. If a
vendor model is implemented, we are fully committed to having New York State
teachers remain actively involved with test specification design, item
selection and review, rangefinding, and standardsetting. We would continue this practice in any
contract with a vendor for the development of the new mathematics Regents
examinations.
Recommendation
After careful consideration of the field comment, Department staff
recommend that the Board of Regents approve the following as the implementation
timeline for the new Mathematics Regents Examinations:
o
schedule the first administration of the Integrated Algebra Examination
along with the Mathematics A Examination in June 2008;
o
schedule the administration of both the Integrated Algebra Examination
along with the Mathematics A Examination in January 2009 (the last
administration of Mathematics A);
o
schedule the first administration of the Geometry Examination along with
Mathematics B in June 2009 (the last administration of Mathematics B would be
in June 2010); and
o
schedule the first administration of the Algebra 2 and Trigonometry
Examination in June 2010.
Attachment A provides this schedule in chart form.
Implementation of
Timeline
Implementation of this timeline will allow the
transition from Mathematics A and B to the new Regents Examinations in
Integrated Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry and provide
flexibility for districts who are at various levels of readiness in aligning
curricula with the new Mathematics Standard and performance indicators. To
produce a valid and reliable Integrated Algebra Examination for administration
in June 2008 and a Geometry Examination for administration in June 2009, the
Department may issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an external vendor to
construct the two new examinations, with three test forms produced per year. We would convene a group of New York State
mathematics teachers to review Item Maps and Core Curricula for Mathematics A
and B to formally identify priority content.
Under this plan,
both the Mathematics A and Integrated Algebra Examinations would be
administered in June 2008 and January 2009.
The last administration of Mathematics A would be in January 2009. In June 2009, Integrated Algebra and
Integrated Geometry would be administered along with Mathematics B. The
Mathematics B Regents Examination would sunset no later than June 2010.
Such an RFP would require the vendor to adhere to the Department’s
standard test development process. New York State teachers would be involved in
the design of the test specifications and blueprint, item review and selection,
rangefinding, and standardsetting. For the first twothree administrations of
each test, all test items would be developed by the vendor; for subsequent
administrations, the vendor would conduct item writing workshops and New York
State teachers would be invited to submit items for review and possible
inclusion. The estimated development
timeline for these tests is as follows:
Date

Activity

OctDec 05 
Develop and publish RFP 
JanMarch 06 
Review proposals and award contract 
AprilJune 06 
Design test specifications and blueprint 
JulySept 06 
Item writing; item review; and item selection 
Fall 06 
Publish test samplers 
Spring 07 
Field test 
Summer 07 
Rangefinding: psychometric analysis 
Fall 07 
Publish full Sample Test(s) 
New
Mathematics Regents
Implementation
/ Transition Timeline

Math A 
Math B 
Algebra 
Geometry 
Algebra 2 and Trigonometry 
200607 
X 
X

School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED item writing and pretesting 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED item writing and pretesting 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED item writing and pretesting 
200708 
X 
X 
X
First admin. in
June 2008, Postequate 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED item writing and pretesting 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED item writing and pretesting 
200809 
X Last admin. in January
2009 
X 
X

X
First admin. in June 2009,
Postequate 
School curricular and
instructional alignment and SED item writing and pretesting 
200910 

X Last admin. in June 2010 
X

X 
X 
201011 


X 
X

X 
201112 


X 
X 
X
