Some students think new Regents exam is too tough

The new Regents exam isn TMt getting great reviews from all students and parents.

For the first time this year the Algebra II/Trigonometry regents test was given, but some students thought it was too difficult.

Emily Seabrook is a high honor roll student at West Genesee High School. The senior-to-be did well in her math class, but when she sat down to take the Regents exam she says she felt unprepared.

"My teacher didn't know what was going to be on the test, because it was the first time it was given and so she just taught us what she was given, and I really didn't think it was like what she had taught us, I thought it was a lot harder, Seabrook said. They thought us what they could, and how they could and we had all the review classes that I went to. So we tried to be as prepared as we could, but it just didn TMt work out.

Emily says her friends thought it was difficult as well, and many didn TMt do as well as anticipated.

West Genesee School Superintendent Christopher Brown says the first time a test is given, the regents exam scores are often lower than the students end of the year grade.

"The teachers did the best job they could to figure out what might be on the test and deliver that instruction, and only now that we know maybe what was on there and what wasn't on there, we'll know more of that in July, said Brown.

The district plans to analyze the tests, to see what questions students got wrong, and then see if that information was covered in the school curriculum. If not, the classroom instruction can be re-tooled to better prepare students for the test.

Anthony Bottar, who sits on the State Board of Regents, says statewide high performing suburban districts did well, and urban area students scored lower. "I believe some students and some parents may believe that the score is lower than what they thought they would get on it. But there is no basis for comparison. This is the first time the test was given and it's not comparable to the old exam, so can't say it's higher or lower it is what it is, said Bottar.

Bottar says schools are given practice questions, but what the exam will exactly look like isn TMt known until it is administered.

Emily plans to get a tutor and retake the exam in August. She hopes to stay on track to graduate with an advanced diploma, but if the state budget doesn TMt include the $7 million requested by the Regents, the exam may not be given this summer.

As for other districts, the West Hill High School Principal Lee Roscoe says he's a bit concerned about his students scores.

While the North Syracuse district says they are not too worried, 68% of students passed the exam.