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Who Should Grade the Regents Exams?

New York State might prohibit teachers from grading their own students' Regents exams.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that New York State might prohibit teachers from grading their own students' Regents exams, due to a fear of grade inflation.

This proposal is tied to new regulations that factor student performance on state exams into teacher and principal evaluations. The New York State Department of Education hasn't made clear exactly who would grade the exams-other teachers in the building or district, or an independent third party-but it fears that teachers would be more likely to inflate grades if their own ratings (and, perhaps, their job security) were dependent, in part, on their students' standardized test scores.

So, who should grade the Regents exams?  If New York entrusts teachers with the education and assessment of their own students throughout the school year, why should the grading of final exams be any different? 

And, with Albany making statewide cuts in education funding, wouldn't this be an unnecessary expense?  What are your thoughts?

Dennis Urban is a full-time social studies teacher and co-owner of Long Island Regents Prep, which offers regents review classes at SUNY Farmingdale.  Visit liregentsprep.com for more information.

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Tanii C. May 23, 2011 at 01:23 PM
I'm a little iffy on teachers grading their own students Regents exams. What if to get their scores up, everyone magically passes? I know its negative thinking but I've seen a lot of ugly in my time. I personally think the Regents exams should be graded by non-partial to get a true gauge on whether the student has a grasp on the information. Somewhat off topic but, maybe there should be a partnership with the local SUNY/CUNY where they grade a few of the HS exams to give the students an idea of what they need to work on in order to excel at the college level.
Geraldine McKiernan May 23, 2011 at 05:43 PM
It's been quite a few years since I've taken the regents exams, but isn't the majority of the exam multiple choice in which a scantron is used? And the written part is not a big percentage of the exams. The multiple choice is the weight of the exam. I could completely be off base since the last time I took a regents exam was in 1995. It could also go the other way around. If a teacher doesn't like a student, they could skew the grading to make that person fail. Another issue is ethics. If an outside party were to grade the tests, it's making a statement that we don't trust our teachers to be ethical. If that's the case, why do we want those teachers teaching?

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